Knights of the Golden Circle


Freemasonry's Connection with the KGC

Posted by Jay Longley on May 7, 2018 at 3:10 PM

A very informative post from our Bloody Bill Anderson Mystery group's message board from 2013.


---In [email protected], wrote :

Freemasonry’s Connection With The Knights Of The Golden Circle

December 29, 2012

by BeeHive

Phoenixmasonry records on its website the existence of a White Supremacist organization with Masonic influence called Knights of the Golden Circle.

The Knights of the Golden Circle was a Texas-based secret society. Their

objective was to create a confederation of slave-holding states in parts

of Mexico and the West Indies, extending slavery; the group’s plan thus

mirrored the objectives of secession, a cause they actively supported

during the Civil War. Legend has it that they hid the fabled confederate

gold allegedly sent off for safe keeping as the waning days of the war.

Others have linked them to the KKK.

At the link below is a fascinating history of the KGC and the historical

context, it is after all subtitled “A History of Secession from 1834 to

1861.” It was written by a member of the order and published in 1861.

The rituals and degree structure described in this book clearly indicate

the influence of Freemasonry; whether it was founded by men who happened

to be Masons is unclear, as Freemasonry is not mentioned in the text. (1)

“A History of Secession from 1834 to 1861″


Few people know of the Knights of the Golden Circle and even fewer know

about the purpose for which it existed. It is probably the greatest

untold story today in the history of the United States. That is unusual

because during the last century this very large, powerful, secret and

subversive southern organization had such a profound influence and

effect over the course of many years that they almost succeeded in

changing the course of our history.

It has been said of them that they were one of the deadliest,

wealthiest, most secretive and subversive spy and underground

organizations in the history of the world. It is known that they

operated not only in the United States, but also around the glove for 65

years (1851 to 1916). Also, that the original Ku Klux Klan was their

military arm. Some of the finest and craftiest brains in the South

helped organize and direct the activities of the Knights of the Golden

Circle. The group was heavy on ritual, most of which was borrowed from

the Masonic Lodge and later from the Knights of Pythias. Some were also

members of the Rosicrucians. Their wealth was due to the huge amount of

money, valuables and equipment that they had accumulated for the purpose

of restarting the Civil War.

So, you might wonder then if that is true, why haven’t we read about

them in our history books or heard them mentioned in our schools before?

That is a hard question to answer, but maybe because they were such

devout, die-hard, southern rebels, working for a southern cause that was

eventually defeated and one that is not popular today. However, the fact

remains that since they did exist and were a very large and powerful

organization for many years, I think that their story should be known today.

But during the 1800′s, many stories and articles did appear about the

Knights of the Golden Circle in many newspapers, magazines and

periodicals, before, during, and after the Civil War. But somehow, these

stories have been overlooked or purposely omitted from our modern-day

history books. So, who were the Knights of the Golden Circle and what

was their purpose?

Origins of the Knights of the Golden Circle

Actually, their beginning goes back to a long period before the Civil

War when our young nation was reaching out for more territory. They were

part of the overall imperialist’s movement to expand out borders

westward, even though they had not officially taken on the name of the

Knights of the Golden Circle. Then, when the issue of slavery began to

divide the sentiments of our country, they started to support the

Southern states in trying to keep slavery alive because most of them

were Southerners. As the issue of slavery finally divided the Union and

the Civil War began, they became ardent supporters of the southern

cause. This is when the organization became secret and went underground

in their efforts to aid the Confederacy. Since they were considered

subversive, that is why they became a secret organization. President

Lincoln once referred to their very effective efforts against the North,

as a “Fifth Column.” That could have been the origin of the term.

Then, after the war was over, they refused to accept the terms of the

southern surrender. They had been working diligently for many years to

accomplish their goals and were not about to give them up. They had too

much momentum going. Also, they were still bitter over the issue of

slavery and of not establishing a Confederate nation independent from

the northern states. This is when they went underground with a strongly

determined and clandestine, even bizarre, plan to eventually restart the

Civil War at a later time.(2)


Shortly before the Civil War began, the state of Texas was the greatest

source of this organization’s strength. Texas was home for at least

thirty-two K.G.C. castles in twenty-seven counties, including the towns

of San Antonio, Marshall, Canton, and Castroville. Evidence suggests

that San Antonio may have served as the organization’s national

headquarters for a time.

The South began to secede from the Union in January 1861, and in

February of that year, seven seceding states ratified the Confederate

Constitution and named Jefferson Davis as provisional president. The

Knights of the Golden Circle became the first and most powerful ally of

the newly-created Confederate States ofAmerica.

Before the Civil War officially started on April 12, 1861, when shots

were fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and before Texas had held its

election on the secession referendum on February 23, 1861, Texas

volunteer forces, which included 150 K.G.C. soldiers under the command

of Col. Ben McCulloch, forced the surrender of the federal arsenal at

San Antonio that was under the command of Bvt. Maj. Gen. David E. Twiggs

on February 15, 1861. Knights of the Golden Circle who were involved in

this mission included Capt. Trevanion Teel, Sgt. R. H. Williams, John

Robert Baylor, and Sgt. Morgan Wolfe Merrick. Following this quick

victory, volunteers who were mostly from K.G.C. companies, forced the

surrender of all federal posts between San Antonio and El Paso.

Perhaps the best documentation as to the power and influence of the

Knights of the Golden Circle during the Civil War is The Private Journal

and Diary of John H. Surratt, The Conspirator which was written by John

Harrison Surratt and later edited by Dion Haco and published by Frederic

A. Brady of New York in 1866. In this journal, Surratt goes into great

detail when describing how he was introduced to the K.G.C. in the summer

of 1860 by another Knight, John Wilkes Booth, and inducted into this

mysterious organization on July 2, 1860, at a castle in

Baltimore,Maryland. Surratt describes the elaborate and secret induction

ceremony and its rituals and tells that cabinet members, congressmen,

judges, actors, and other politicians were in attendance. Maybe the most

significant revelation of Surratt’s diary is that the Knights of the

Golden Circle began plotting to kidnap Abraham Lincoln in 1860, before

Lincoln was even inaugurated in 1861, and continued throughout the Civil

War, resulting in President Lincoln’s assassination by fellow Knight

Booth on April 14, 1865.

After trying unsuccessfully to peacefully resolve the conflicts between

North and South, the Knights of the Golden Circle threw its full support

behind the newly-created Confederate States of America and added its

trained military men to the Confederate States Army. Several Confederate

military groups during the Civil War were composed either totally or in

large part of members of the Knights of theGolden Circle. One notable

example of K.G.C. military participation in the Civil War included the

Confederate’s Western Expansion Movement of 1861 and 1862 led by Lt.

Col. John Robert Baylor and Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley.

In 1861 Albert Pike travelled to Indian Territory and negotiated an

alliance with Cherokee Chief Stand Watie. Prior to the beginning of

hostilities, Pike helped Watie to become a Thirty-second Degree Scottish

Rite Mason. Watie was also in the K.G.C., and he was later commissioned

a colonel in command of the First Regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles.

In May 1864 Chief Watie was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in

the Confederate States Army making him the only Native American of this

rank in the Confederate Army. Watie’s command was to serve under CSA

officers Albert Pike, Benjamin McCulloch, Thomas Hindman, and Sterling

Price. They fought in engagements in Indian Territory, Kansas, Arkansas,

Texas, and Missouri.

One of the most feared organizations of all Confederates, whose members

were in large part Knights of the Golden Circle, was what was called

Quantrill’s Guerrillas or Quantrill’s Raiders. The Missouri-based band

was formed in December 1861 by William Clark Quantrill and originally

consisted of only ten men who were determined to right the wrongs done

to Missourians by Union occupational soldiers. Their mortal enemies were

the Kansas Jayhawkers and the Red Legs who were the plague of Missouri.

As the war raged on in Missouri and neighboring states, Quantrill’s band

attracted hundreds more men into its ranks. Quantrill’s Guerrillas

became an official arm of the Confederate Army after May 1862, when the

Confederate Congress approved the Partisan Ranger Act. Other leaders of

Quantrill’s Guerrillas included William C. “Bloody Bill” Anderson, David

Pool, William Gregg, and George Todd. Some of the major engagements this

deadly guerrilla force participated in included the Lawrence, Kansas,

raid on August 21, 1863, the battle near Baxter Springs, Kansas, in

October 1863, and two battles at and near Centralia in Missouri in

September of 1864. The bulk of Quantrill’s band wintered in Grayson

County, Texas, from 1861 through 1864. (3)

From “A History of Secession from 1834 to 1861″ comes this insight into

the rituals of The Knights of the Golden Circle. This entire work is

rather lengthy but very revealing and is available in full on


I will now give you the signs, grips, password, and token of the First

Degree of the K. C. G. (Of course a misprint for K. G. C.)

This Dcgree has a name, which I may now give you—it is the ” I,” (Knight

of the Iron Hand.) The first great sign of the…

Order is thus made, 7, (Hands open, palms touching and resting on the

top or the head, fingers pointed upwards). The answer to this is 8 (open

hands touching shoulder where epaulettes are worn ; elbows close to the


These are battle-field signs, and are not to be used under ordinary

circumstances. The common sign of recognition is 9 (right forefinger

drawn across upper lip under nose, as if rubbing). The answer 10, (with

forefinger and thumb of left hand take hold of’ left ear).

To gain admission to a Lorking Castle, or the room of any K. G. C., give

11 (one distinct rap) at the door, The Sentinel on duty will then raise

the wicket and demand the countersign, which is 12, (SOLDIERS, always

lettered except at Castle door.) You will then pass to the center of the

room and give the true sign of the K. G. C.; it is 13. (left hand on

heart; right hand raised) This will be recognized by a bow from the

Captain, when you will at once take your seat. The sign of assent is 14,

(both hands up) of dissent 15, (one hand tip) the grip is 16, (press

with thumb one inch above second knuckle) the token 17, (Golden Circle

encasing block bands closed on scroll : the whole to be the size of a dime)

Every member may wear the sign of his degree.

And now, reader, yon know as much about the signs, grips, tokens, &c.,

of the Knights of the Golden Circle as they themselves do. We may here

remark that the initiation fee for the First Degree is one dollar, for

the Second five dollars, for the Third ten.

From the Second or Financial Degree we need give but little.

The following is the closing part of the initiation:

Captain. The head quarters of this organization are at 23, (Monterey)

where most of the stores and munitions are deposited. The Financial Head

quarters are at —; Col. N. J.Scott is at present Financial Chairman.



Captain. I shall now give you the unwritten parts of this work, and I

trust you will be careful in its use. If a general war ensues, we shall

dispense with the First Degree, and rely on this and the Third.

Name—18 (True Faith) sign—25 (fore finger and thumb of right hands

joined, while with thc rest of the hand upon the right eye is touching

with the middle finger,) answer—26 (same with left hand and left eye)

password 27 (Monterey) night word of distress-32 (St Mary) response-3I

and say 5 (grasp by wrist and say Rio Grande emblem—28 (gold circle

encasing Greek cross, in center of which is star) This is the 29 (key)

to our 30 (secret alphabet) use of 33 (K. G. C.) 56 (Gcorge ley) guard

sign 28 (gold circle encasing Greek CROSS, in center of which is a star)

silence 25 (forefinger and thumb of right hand joined, while with the

rest of the hand open the right, eye left is touching on middle finger)

on lips; danger—right—same with and now it remains for us to give the

Ritual of the Third Degree, which, as being the most importaut, we shall

publish almost entire. We have not the time or space for commenting on

it now.

Every citizen can judge of it for himself: The Roman Catholics and the

foreign born population will see how they are proscribed by this

mysterious Order ; this central and guiding power of the secession and

disunion party. All will see, too, that the Order declares for a

Monarchy, a Limited Monarchy, as they call it, until all their purposes

in regard to Mexico shall have been accomplished, and we need not

suggest how bricf will be the period within which, if they get their

Limited Monarchy, they will make it an Absolute Monarchy.


(Knights Of the Columbian Star)

INSTRUCTIONS: Officers of the Council shall be a Governor and a

Secretary. Every 57 (Knight of the Columbian Star) is qualified to act

in either capacity.

Qualifications for Membership.


Candidate must be familiar with the work of the two former Degrees ;

must have been born in 58 (a Slave State), or if in 59 (a Free State) he

must be a citizen; 60 (a Protestant) and 61 (a Slaveholder). A candidate

who was horn in 58 (a Slave State) need not be 61 (a Slaveholder)

provided he can give 62 (Evidences of character as a Southern man).

Object: To form a council for the 33 (K. G. C.) and to organize 63 (a

government) for 2 (Mexico.) No 57 (Knight of the Columbian Star) shall

admit, except to a brother 57, that he has this Degree, for reasons that

will hereafter appear. Any two 57s84 RITUAL OF THE can confer the degree

on others, the oldest 57 acting as Governor.

Although it is pure conjecture one has to wonder whether present day

Southern Freemasonry’s objection to recognizing Prince Hall, its

insistence on being a White, Christian only Fraternity as exemplified by

the recent religious rulings of the Mainstream Grand Lodge of Florida,

has a direct correlation in the teachings of The Knights of the Golden

Circle and other White Supremacist organizations being passed down from

father to son, generation after generation.

(1) Phoenixmasonry –

(2) Knights Of The Golden –

(3) Knights of the Golden Circle –

(4) “A History of Secession from 1834 to 1861″

The Knights of the Golden Circle Research and Historical Archives

Categories: None

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In