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Knights of the White Camellia
- For other uses, see Knights of the White Camellia (disambiguation).
The Knights of the White Camellia was a secret group opposing the carpetbaggers in the U.S. Southern states during the Reconstruction and beyond. Like most of such groups, it was founded by a Confederate veteran, as veterans represented most of southern white men. Col. Alcibiades DeBlanc founded the group in May 1867 in Franklin, Louisiana. Chapters existed primarily in the southern part of the Deep South. It was similar to and associated with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), as it opposed to Republican government. However, unlike the Klan, which drew much of its membership from rural and working class southerners (primarily Confederate veterans), the White Camellia consisted mainly of southerners who were or had been from various professions, including physicians, newspaper editors, doctors, and officers. They were also usually Confederate veterans, the upper part of antebellum society. Its organizational structure had less unusual names than did the KKK: Members were called Brothers and Knights, and its officials Commanders.
After a Republican paper published its rituals, passwords and signals in late 1868, the organization discussed changes. It began to decline, despite a convention in 1869. The more aggressive people joined the White Leaguee or similar paramilitary organizations that organized in the mid-1870s. By 1870 the Knights of the White Camellia had mostly ceased to exist.
Dictionary of Louisiana Biography vol 1, pg. 222
- ↑ Christopher Long, "KNIGHTS OF THE WHITE CAMELLIA", Handbook of Texas Online, accessed 9 Apr 2008