Was the Original Ku Klux Klan a Terrorist Organization?
The spread of the Ku Klux Klan throughout the Southern States was concurrent with the increase of aggression against their people by members of the Union League and in response to the corruption of the Carpetbaggers during the Reconstruction period. On several occasions, the Klan even came to the rescue of Democratic or even "conservative" Republican Negroes who were targets of violence in consequence of their refusal to join with the Radicals. One such Black family who were thus saved by the interposition of the Klan were the Pooles of Florence, Alabama. The Klan also assisted Government authorities in apprehending associates of Tom Clark, a deserter from both the Confederate and Northern armies who, with his band of marauders, terrorized several counties of Alabama in the early 1870s in Klan disguise. The gruesome murders, rapes, and robberies committed against both Whites and Blacks by Clark and his men were all attributed to the Klan in the Northern papers.