Files in this item



application/pdf3182215.pdf (12MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:The Ku Klux Klan Movement in Williamson County, Illinois, 1923--1926
Author(s):Ayabe, Masatomo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burton, Orville Vernon
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, United States
Abstract:The Ku Klux Klan of Williamson County, Illinois, was a vigilante organization to help enforce Prohibition. In this coal miners' country, the hooded order took over a citizens' movement that sought to remove the shameful sobriquet "Bloody Williamson" through a moral cleanup of the community. Though not completely absent, the national Klan's bigoted ideology, such as anti-Catholicism and white supremacy, failed to inspire Williamson County members, many of whom were union coal miners. Klansmen raided bootlegging joints and moonshining stills and helped convict a number of liquor law violators, who had enjoyed prosperous business with the tacit consent of local officials. However, the vigilantes went too far. They took the law into their own hands and committed a variety of crimes during the raids. Their violent vigilantism provoked retaliation of the bootleggers and their official allies. During the "Klan war" from January 1924 to April 1926, twenty people lost their lives, and state troops came to the county five times to restore order. The Klan exacerbated the problem of lawlessness, instead of solving it, and fixed the sobriquet "Bloody Williamson," instead of removing it. Citizens realized their mistake of depending on a secret vigilante organization to solve their community problems. Repudiated at the polls and defeated in the battles with the bootlegging gangsters, the Ku Klux Klan demised as quickly as it had grown in Williamson County.
Issue Date:2005
Description:434 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3182215
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics