A Guide to the Knights of the Golden Circle Address, 1860
Created in 1854 by George W. L. Bickley, a Virginia-born physician, the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was a secret organization that sympathized with the southern states and sought to establish a slaveholding nation encompassing the southern United States and Central America in a “Golden Circle.” The group championed the preservation of slavery from the perceived threat of northern Abolitionism. By 1859, KGC membership spread through the southern states and Texas, where the group gained considerable influence with thirty-two local chapters or “castles” throughout the state. From May 7-11, 1860, a general convention of the KGC met in Raleigh, North Carolina, which published a lengthy address to the people of the southern states. After the secession of Texas in March 1861, the KGC actively participated in the removal of federal authority from Texas and was rumored to support plots against the United States Government throughout the war.
Source: Campbell, Randolph B. “Knights of the Golden Circle.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed June 30, 2011.http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/vbk01.
An address, in a bound typescript volume, comprises the Knights of the Golden Circle Address, 1860, given at a general convention of the KGC in Raleigh, North Carolina. This address to the people of the southern states details the group’s goals and ideology in an attempt to arouse secessionist sympathy in the South.
Knights of the Golden Circle Address, 1860, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
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