|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
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)
FURTHER UNDERTAKINGS AND MASONIC INFLUENCE
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.
KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. 83
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
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.
THIRD or POLITICAL DEGREE OF THE 33 (K. G. C.)— NAMED 57
(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 Circle.net –
(3) Knights of the Golden Circle – http://knightsofthegoldencircle.webs.com/
(4) “A History of Secession from 1834 to 1861″
The Knights of the Golden Circle Research and Historical Archives