The Nativist Klan

Ku Klux Klan march, Milo, 1923

Ku Klux Klan march, Milo, 1923
Item 23229   info
Island Falls Historical Society

The Ku Klux Klan in Maine in the 1920s grew under the charismatic leadership of F. Eugene Farnsworth, who toured the state appealing for better government and stronger adherence to patriotism, Protestant values, white supremacy, the Bible, and Holy Scripture.

Specifically, the Klan warned against Catholic teachers and school board representatives in public schools because they fomented anti-Americanism.

A recurring message was that Catholics owed their loyalty to the Pope and therefore could not be loyal American citizens.

The Klan avoided the public violence and intimidation that characterized its behavior elsewhere and concentrated on fraternal rites, parades, and political campaigning, finding a constituency among Maine’s “dry” voters and those uneasy about new “foreign-born” members of their own communities.

It was adept at using existing organizations – businessmen’s and fraternal groups and even churches – to further its political goals and recruit members.

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