You can’t understand the Lincoln Assassination without understanding the Knights of the Golden Circle, one of the most powerful and secret societies in all America at the time of the Lincoln Assassination. It is somewhat unusual to understand how very little has been written about this organization, especially when I have just finished six novels in the series based on hundreds of newspaper, periodical, and magazine articles. Their existence was well established before the Civil War.
The organization grew out of Southern Rights Clubs in the South who were most interested in opening up more territory to slavery. These secret clubs financed slave ships that continued to illegally abduct Africans after the slave trade was officially abolished in 1808.
In 1855, George Bickley, a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, organized the Southern Rights movement into the highly secretive Knights of the Golden Circle, also known in abbreviated form as the KGC, a volunteer militia initially formed for a new invasion of Mexico.
This book is edited and reviewed for parts to include in the sixth book in the series, Conspiracy Theories in the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It was actually written by a member of the Order who never revealed his name. This book will give great insight into who the KGC were and what their purpose was for existence.
John Surratt was the son of Mary Surratt, the first woman hung by the federal government. She met her fate in Book Five. John Surratt published his diary in later years and what is most astonishing is his frequent mention of the Knights of the Golden Circle on numerous pages, yet again, many history books across America do not discuss the Order.
The Knights of the Golden Circle merged with the expansionist Order of the Lone Star in 1858 and planned an invasion of Mexico which was eventually aborted by a senator of Texas, his name Sam Houston. After calling off the attack, the KGC aimed at fomenting secession. State regimental leaders, in concert with folks like John Pettus, Henry Wise, and Texas Ranger Ben McColloch, helped the Knights of the Golden Circle evolve into the paramilitary spearhead of the secessionist movement. These military units came to be known as the Minute Men in South Carolina and the Texas Knights in Texas, over 8,000 strong.
Ben McColloch organized the volunteers in Texas and orchestrated the attack on the Alamo and helped seize the federal fort and continue to assist in Texas in its effort to secede from the Union.
There were many discussed attempts on Abraham Lincoln’s life, beginning with one organized by the Knights of the Golden Circle in February 1861. The person involved was a hairdresser from Baltimore by the name of Cipriano Ferrandini.
In the previous novel in this series, Book 6: The Conspiracy Theories in the Lincoln Assassination, a young initiate in the Order, John Wilkes Booth, much is discussed of the Knights of the Golden Circle and their influence on the events that fateful night in Washington City on April 14, 1865.
Conspiracy theories are called “Conspiracy” for a reason…no proof. Just because John Wilkes Booth was a member of this organization does not mean the KGC was behind the assassination attempt. However, after reading the hidden secrets within the organization, what their purpose was, how powerful and secretive the organization was and couple that with the secret code and other documents tying him to the Order, it’s difficult not to see some sort of involvement in the kidnapping attempts and later assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States.
Newspaper across the nation advertise the need for troops to muster in Brownsville, Texas in 1860 to eventually attack Mexico. These plans were called off due to the tension between the North and South, and talk of secession was in everyone’s conversation each day.
This is the last book, Book 7, on the 150th Anniversary of the Lincoln Assassination Series by Sean E. Jacobs.
Follow Sean E. Jacobs and Sidney St. James at www.sidneystjames.com.