Kentucky Historical Society


Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

29. Ku Klux Klan (1873)

The General Assembly approved "an act to amend chapter 28 of the Revised Statutes, titled 'Crimes and Punishments'" on April 11, 1873. Although the Ku Klux Klan is not mentioned in the act itself, it is indexed under that name. The act prohibits the circulation of "any threatening notice or letter" signed or unsigned. It prohibits two or more persons from banding together "for the purpose of intimidating, alarming, or disturbing any person or persons." It also prohibits two or more persons from going forth "armed or disguised." The penalties for these activities involved fines of up to five hundred dollars and imprisonment for up to six months. The governor, furthermore, was empowered to offer a reward of up to five hundred dollars for the apprehension of offenders, and any "sheriff or other peace officers" refusing to "discharge any of the duties imposed on him by this act" were to be subject to a fine of up to five hundred dollars.

Cover of pamphlet Ku Klux Klan Secrets Exposed.

Pamphlet cover. The full title is Ku Klux Klan Secrets Exposed: Attitude Toward Jews, Catholics, Foreigners, and Masons: Fraudulent Methods Used, Atrocities Committed in Name of Order, published in Chicago, ca. 1922. Kentucky Historical Society Collections.

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