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About this collection

Ku Klux Klan in Oklahoma History; a history of organized vigilantism.

In Oklahoma there has been a long history of radical political and racial vigilantism intertwined with the history of Klan and Klan-like organizations.  From the period of the Green Corn Rebellion in 1917 through the Knights of Liberty trying to prevent the Industrial Workers of the World and leading through the period of relative lawlessness and vigilantism in the early 1920s. That in turn aided the rise of the second Klan in Oklahoma after the Tulsa Race Riot and moving into the declaration of Martial Law by Governor Walton in 1923 in his failed attempt to bring the Klan under control.  After his impeachment and removal from office the Klan spread its influence until it finally self-destructed in Oklahoma through internal political disputes.  By 1932 only a few hard core members remained and they are not heard of again in an organized form until much later.

The following digital images are a compilation from numerous sources including multiple anonymous photographs, newspaper photographs, and the Klan Roster 1928-1932. These images and documents are meant to provide a basic understanding of the racial and social dynamics in Tulsa and Oklahoma's history.

Photos are described as:

  • Postcards: Prints that were made into postcards (as was commonly done in the past).
  • Photographic prints: Photos printed from the original negatives.
  • Photographic reproduction: Second or later generation photographs, frequently made by scanning in a photograph or photographing another image, resulting in the creation of a new negative. These are derivative works and less detailed than photographic prints.

 

 
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