This Week in Reconstruction, March 23-31, 1868
One should disregard any rumors heard on the streets about the so-called harmless K. K. K. The organization spreads its venom through the nation, planting roots in Virginia. The K. K. K. has completely evolved into a new horrific group. Tales of terror flood the Dispatch, all concerning "weird horsemen" seen traveling around. Citizens all-around know and fear the name of the Ku Klux Klan. A member of the Klan made an unexpected and frightening appearance in the counting-room of the Dispatch on March 27th. Witnesses claim the Klan member was more monster than man standing at "nine feet-or so" tall. The "monster" did not utter a single word but silently left an advertisement for the Klan on the counter. It can be assumed the Klan member's intention was to use the Dispatch as their means of communication with prospective Klan members. These advertisements call for daring new recruits to bring "one quart of blood" which they will then be required "to eat." Yet the Dispatch defends the rise of these organizations, explaining that in times of tyranny ruled by Radicals and the mistreatment of citizens and their personal rights that "secret orders have sprung forth as natural offspring from the political condition of the time." White Southerners link the terror inspired by Klan members with the misrule of the Radicals. The Dispatch and its white followers truly believe that if the Union had "been restored immediately after the war, all would have been peace, and such spawn of agitation, strife, public and private peril, and political anarchy, would not have appeared." The chaos of the time is simply a repercussion of the long-lasting Radical empire. The K. K. K. is not to blame; rather, the Republicans who forced their creation should be the ones apologizing to the nation.