More women of the KKK

Concurrent to the W.A.P., as it appeared in Tulsa in October 1922, also on 1 October of 1922, the following article appeared in the New York Times about the Ladies of the Invisible Empire (LOTIE), a different women’s auxiliary that was more ancestral to the eventual Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). All text after this is quoted from the newspaper article, 1 Oct 1922, p. 23:

Women Klan Members Reveal Family Life

Those who would join Ladies of the Invisible Empire must answer many questions.

Special to the New York Times.

BALTIMORE, Md. Sept. 30.– In a questionnaire sent to the Baltimore women who seek to join the Ladies of the Invisible Empire, the feminine organization modeled after the Ku Klux Klan, are queries concerning many ramifications of the life of the applicant and her family.  Officials of the local organization declare that many Maryland women have answered these questions.

Baltimore’s centre of “female invisibility” is at the home of Alfred Holt, deputy organizer.  At the top of the application blank he issues this declaration:

“I. the undersigned, a true and loyal citizen of the United States of America, being a white woman of sound mind and a believer in the tenets of the Christian religion and the principles of ‘pure Americanism,’ do most respectfully apply for affiliation in the Ladies of the Invisible Empire.

“I guarantee on my honor to conform strictly to all rules and requirements regulating my initiation and the continuance of my membership and at all times a strict and loyal obedience to your constitution and laws of the order. If I prove untrue to my obligations, I will willingly accept as my portion whatever penalty your authority may impose.”

The sum of $10 must accompany this application as a voluntary contribution.

Among the questions the applicant is required to answer are:

“Are you serious and unselfish in seeking membership in this organization?

“Are you past 18 years of age?  Married?  Single? Widowed? Divorced?

“Have you any children?

“What is your religious faith?  Catholic, Jew, Protestant, or Mohammedan?

“With what secret organization is your husband, father, son, or brother affiliated?

“What is the religious faith of your husband?

“Of what church are you now a member?

“Can you keep a secret? Will you do so?

“What are your political affiliations?

“Are you a registered voter?

“Do you owe any allegiance to any foreign nation, Government, Institution, people, or ruler?

“Do you esteem the United States of America, its flag and Constitution above any other nation, flag and Government, and will you ever be loyal in supporting same?

“Can you always be depended on?”

Having answered all these interrogations, the applicant must subscribe to the following:

“I most solemnly assert and affirm that each question above is truthfully answered by me, and in my own handwriting, and below is my signature.”

Women’s Klan in Tulsa

While researching something else this morning, I came across this image, from the Sunday, 15 October 1922 Tulsa Tribune.  As a note, W.A.P. meant White American Protestants according to Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s, by Kathleen M. Blee.  All text after this is quoted from the newspaper article accompanying.

Members of the Tulsa KKK and the WAP at the inaugural meeting, October 1922. -- Tulsa Tribune, 15 October 1922.

Members of the Tulsa KKK and the WAP at the inaugural meeting, October 1922. — Tulsa Tribune, 15 October 1922.

Good Morning Mrs._____; Are You In This Picture?

This is the first photograph ever published of members of the women’s Ku Klux Klan.  It was taken a few days ago at the organization of the Tulsa Chapter of the W. A. P., the Women’s Auxiliary of the Klan.  The robed figures at the left are Klansmen,  The women at the right and in the rear are charter W.A.P. members.   Can you pick out yourself?  What W.A.P. stands for is a secret.

The accompanying picture of the first class of Tulsa women into the W.A.P., the women’s Ku Klux Klan, was brought to The Tribune by a woman who said she was a member.  This is the third class of the kind organized in the United States, it is said, and the first pictures of members of the women’s organization to be published anywhere.

As can be seen in the picture, the W.A.P. has at least the semi-official sanction of the Ku Klux Klan.  Members of the local chapter of the klan are here presenting the American flag to the women, who have just banded together to further the same principles advocated by the invisible empire.  The photograph was taken a few days ago.

The W.A.P., said to be the only women’s organization that has received commendation in the klan national papers at Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, D.C.,was organized at Claremore a few weeks ago.  National headquarters have since been established in Kansas City.

The order claims a membership of 4,000 in Oklahoma.  It is said to have chapters at Claremore, Miami, Tulsa, Vinita, Muskogee, Oklahoma City, Pryor, Wagoner, McAlester, Henryetta, Okmulgee, Haskell, Sapulpa, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Skiatook, Collinsville, Avant, Bigheart, Pawhuska, Pawnee, Stillwater, Perry, Oilton, Drumright, Yale, Cushing, Stroud, Chandler, Guthrie, Edmond, Yukon, El Reno, Kingfisher, Enid, and Ada, in this state,  while others are being organized almost daily.