This chapter is worse than the others because not only does Adams lie but he also appears to be a supporter of the Reconstruction KKK who appeals to racist stereotypes to make his argument.
Adams says, “An underground organization opposed to rule by Northern Republicans and their cohorts was inevitable. Once you disenfranchise a ruling population and superimpose a new government composed of enemy aliens of the past, an underground will develop to frustrate the alien rules and to set the stage for a new uprising, if necessary, to return to power those who had ruled in the past. ” [p. 149] I really don’t even know where to begin. There is such massive ignorance displayed here it’s just amazing.
First of all, the KKK was formed in 1866–during Presidential Reconstruction. And it was formed in Tennessee, which was little affected by Congressional Reconstruction compared with other former confederate states.
There were two phases to Reconstruction: Presidential Reconstruction and Congressional, or, Radical Reconstruction.
In May of 1865, Andrew Johnson issued an amnesty proclamation that pardoned the former confederates who swore a loyalty oath and listed fourteen classes of people who were not eligible. Everyone else could vote. The number who could vote expanded as Johnson expanded the set of people he pardoned:
1st, all who are or shall have been pretended civil or diplomatic officers or otherwise domestic or foreign agents of the pretended Confederate government;
2nd, all who left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion;
3d, all who shall have been military or naval officers of said pretended Confederate government above the rank of colonel in the army or lieutenant in the navy;
4th, all who left seats in the Congress of the United States to aid the rebellion;
5th, all who resigned or tendered resignations of their commissions in the army or navy of the United States to evade duty in resisting the rebellion;
6th, all who have engaged in any way in treating otherwise than lawfully as prisoners of war persons found in the United States service, as officers, soldiers, seamen, or in other capacities;
7th, all persons who have been, or are absentees from the United States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion;
8th, all military and naval officers in the rebel service, who were educated by the government in the Military Academy at West Point or the United States Naval Academy;
9th, all persons who held the pretended offices of governors of States in insurrection against the United States;
10th, all persons who left their homes within the jurisdiction and protection of the United States, and passed beyond the Federal military lines into the pretended Confederate States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion;
11th, all persons who have been engaged in the destruction of the commerce of the United States upon the high seas, and all persons who have made raids into the United States from Canada, or been engaged in destroying the commerce of the United States upon the lakes and rivers that separate the British Provinces from the United States;
12th, all persons who, at the time when they seek to obtain the benefits hereof by taking the oath herein prescribed, are in military, naval, or civil confinement, or custody, or under bonds of the civil, military, or naval authorities, or agents of the United States as prisoners of war, or persons detained for offenses of any kind, either before or after conviction;
13th, all persons who have voluntarily participated in said rebellion, and the estimated value of whose taxable property is over twenty thousand dollars;
14th, all persons who have taken the oath of amnesty as prescribed in the President’s proclamation of December 8th, A.D. 1863, or an oath of allegiance to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, and who have not thenceforward kept and maintained the same inviolate.
The first Reconstruction governments were made up of former confederates who immediately passed black laws designed to subjugate the newly freed African-Americans in their states. That is the atmosphere in which the KKK was born. There was also at this time a wave of violence directed against African-Americans, with significant race riots in Memphis and New Orleans in which white mobs murdered and wounded African-Americans, many of them Union veterans, and in some cases raped black women. This led to outrage in Congress and in the rest of the United States. The Republicans won a huge victory in the off-year Congressional elections and moderate Republicans were motivated by this violence and by the black codes and Andrew Johnson’s racism to move to ally with the Radical Republicans. They passed the first Civil Rights Act in 1866 over Johnson’s veto. All of this was before what Adams mendaciously called “alien governments.” The First Reconstruction Act was passed in March of 1867, again over Johnson’s veto. This was part of Congressional, or Radical, Reconstruction.
Adams writes, “The emancipation of slaves meant that there were hundreds of thousands of black men without land, without food, without money, and without skills and trades of any kind. They too were at a loss to know where to go and what to do. Some went back to their old plantations and masters, wanting work and sustenance. Many loafed about their old cabins while others gathered around Yankee military posts, living on scraps of food, garbage, and rations; still others roamed about the countryside, scavenging for food and beginning to realize that their freedom looked more like freedom to starve.” [p. 150]
So Adams thinks the folks who were doing the work had no skills or trades. He thinks they were lazy and dependent on white people for their survival. He thinks they were too childlike and stupid to care for themselves. I’m just flabbergasted at the outright racism he shows.
Next, Adams writes, “Then there was the plight of slaves who had fled the South and joined the Federal armies and fought against the Confederacy. It would have been better for everyone if they had gone North with the withdrawing Union army, but that wasn’t an option because of the black codes that forbade their residency in many Northern states; besides, their homes and families were in the South. So they went back to the South, over 100,000 of them.” [p. 150]
Only two states outside the south, Indiana and Illinois, had retained black codes by the end of the Civil War. As we saw in the discussion of Chapter Nine of this screed, Illinois repealed their black code in 1865, leaving only Indiana. Again, as we saw in the discussion of the last chapter, it didn’t seem to have much of an effect on black migration into the state, with the Census of 1860 showing 11,428 blacks in the state. Even so, Indiana and the other states made strides in improving the lot of their black citizens. Adams either lied or has no idea what he’s writing about. Probably both.
Adams continues, “To the ex-Confederates, these men who had waged war against the South were marked men, who in time would be hunted down for punishment and lynching. Like the Russians who joined Vlasov’s army in World War II and fought against Russia, they were despised traitors. The Soviets summarily executed most of their traitors, and even the civilian Russian society held them in utter contempt. Southerners who had tolerated blacks for centuries had no tolerance for those who had joined the Federal army and fought and killed Southerners.” [p. 150]
More likely the white southerners regarded blacks in uniform as slaves in rebellion rather than traitors to a section. And the last thing they wanted to see was a black man with a gun, especially one who was becoming equal to them. Notice here that Adams doesn’t consider southern African-Americans to be “southerners.” The only people he believes to be fit to wear the southerner label are white people.
“A majority of Southern whites intended to undercut the advances of blacks, and one of their most effective techniques was to punish those who had turned against them and fought for the Union Army. During duty in the army of occupation, black troops were subject to harassment and violence, but the Union blue uniform shielded them somewhat. Once they left the service, former black soldiers were victims of all sorts of retaliatory brutality and abuse. ‘The immediate future of our Colored soldier is not flattering,’ reported a chaplain in early 1866. ‘Defeat has brought with it bitterness and especially toward those who have assisted to bring about that result.’ The chaplain insisted that as soon as authorities mustered him out of service, local whites marked him as a target. ‘His life is insecure. He is looked upon as a runaway ‘n—-r’ who has been fighting against his old master and now returns full of impudent notions of a freeman.’ ” [Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers, p. 252]
Adams writes, “One group of ex-Confederate soldiers, while executing vengeance against an ex-slave (a member of what was called the USCT–United States Colored Troops), ‘swore they meant to kill every black son-of-a-bitch they could find that had ever fought against them.’ ” [p. 150]
Well, Adams shows his sloppiness again, and predictably he doesn’t give the full story, else it might show his beloved and benevolent confederates in a bad light. They didn’t have the guts to confront the former soldier man-to-man when they said this. These cowards said this to the man’s wife while they were beating and raping her while he was away from the house: “One evening a party of whites came to the door in search of her husband, whom she said was out at the watermelon patch. The white men then seized her and took her some distance from the house, where they tied her over a log, pulled her dress over her head, and beat her about the buttocks, with two men securing both legs and another with his foot on her neck to hold her down. They then shifted her on the log and flailed her hip and thigh. Bored with this, they next threw her on the ground, one man standing on her breast, and the other two pulling apart her legs, and beat her about the groin. Finally, an ex-Confederate amputee raped her. When they held her down, one man pulled a pistol on her and swore ‘they ought to Shoot me, as my husband had been in the ‘God damned Yankee Army,’ and Swore they meant to kill every black Son-of-a-bitch they could find that had ever fought against them.’ After they finished with the woman, they returned to the house, beat her two daughters, and plundered their home.” [Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers, pp. 252-253]
Adams claims, “And they did. There were more lynchings in 1866 than in any other year.” [p. 150] If this is true, then this was before the Radical Reconstruction governments. This was when former confederates were in office. Of course, as with most of Adams’ claims, this one is also inaccurate. 1866 was not the year with the most lynchings. That would be 1892, well after the war and well after Reconstruction. Lynching of African-Americans is not something Adams can blame on Northerners for winning the war.
Adams says, “In the beginning, the Klan was organized to have fun, and the young ex-soldiers raided their linen closets and masqueraded in simple costumes. They then rode on their horses to the houses of family and sweethearts in a night serenade. Black people who saw these strange horsemen thought they were the ghosts of Confederate soldiers from nearby battlefields and cemeteries. This intimidation was great fun, but it also caused many blacks to turn away from lawlessness, and many of the idle ones returned to the fields in which they had once worked. Superstition and fear often go hand in hand, and in this instance it was not men they feared but ghosts.” [p. 152] Thomas Dixon himself couldn’t write a better defense of the KKK.
Adams again lets his racism get the better of him. “These tricks enjoyed only a brief vogue; the novelty soon wore off and even the most gullible freedman was not apt to be taken in by very many of these performances. The stories, however, lived on and on, repeated and laughed over by generations of whites. They comprise one of the most cherished parts of the Klan saga. It was the supposed terror evoked among the blacks by these tricks which frightened them into good behavior and way from the polls; this in turn allegedly ensured the downfall of the Radicals and the return of good government to the South. This legend was largely contrary to fact, however, and revealed more about the tellers than about the supposedly duped Negroes. The freedmen unquestionably were terrified by the Klan, but they feared ghosts in white sheets far less than they did the ruthlessness of the mortals they knew to be hiding in sheets while threatening or committing crimes of violence. Nearly all the accounts of Negro gullibility or superstition come from white men, and usually from Conservatives who either belonged to the Klan or sympathized with it. Moreover, they are usually related at least second hand and long after the event.” [Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction, p. 57]
Adams believes the same myth that whites at the time believed, probably for the same reason: “The myth of superstitious Negro terror before the Klan represented in truth a prevailing white superstition about Negroes. It was largely false, but it nonetheless performed a valuable psychological service for white men. Reflecting and reinforcing the stereotype of Negro inferiority which was itself an article of faith and a buttress of white self-esteem, it carried on the game of one-upmanship which white supremacy always demanded.” [Ibid., p. 58]
Adams continues his paean to the KKK: “Within a year after the Klan organized as a fraternal society with recreational and social ends, men from the North with hostile ideas and plans were flocking into the South, even before the war ended, on the heels of Union armies. After the war they came first as tax collectors. This prompted the Klan’s first political venture–to defeat the hated cotton tax and the thieves masquerading as federal tax agents.” [p. 152]
This is the KKK of which Adams is so enamored: “Founded in 1866 as a Tennessee social club, the Ku Klux Klan now spread into nearly every Southern state, launching a ‘reign of terror’ against Republican leaders black and white. Those assassinated during the campaign included Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds, three members of the South Carolina legislature, and several men who had served in constitutional conventions.” [Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, p. 342] Earlier, Adams was crying crocodile tears about Clement Vallandigham being arrested and about some members of the Maryland legislature being arrested. Now we have congressmen and state legislators murdered and Adams is going to ignore it in order to offer an apologia for the terrorists who did the murder.
Adams continues: “Then came the Union League, an organization based in Philadelphia and New York, with political ambitions. Without much success in the North, they decided to switch their efforts to the South and achieve power through the black vote and with former black Union soldiers who had been fully indoctrinated to hate Southerners, whites, or blacks loyal to Southern society. It was a marriage that would make the KKK a necessity for the survival of Southern civilization.” [pp. 152-153]
Adams’ racism shows through again. Blacks couldn’t support Republicans unless they had been “indoctrinated.” They weren’t smart enough to figure out who had their best interest at heart, according to Adams. “Even before the new governments were established, the Radicals began building a following among the Negroes. The vehicle for this effort was usually, although not always, the Union League. Founded in Philadelphia in 1862 to stimulate and promote support for the Union, its leaders discovered new opportunities for service at the war’s end. Already by 1865 a powerful political arm of the Radical wing of the Republican party, it was ready to do what it could to further the postwar program of the party. An apparently promising field of endeavor was among the freedmen. Within months after Appomattox the Union League was busy with its program of political education of Negroes in the former Confederate states.” [John Hope Franklin, Reconstruction: After the Civil War, pp. 123-124] As a “powerful political arm,” the Union League had much more than “not much success.”
Additionally, “The meteoric rise of the Union League reflected and channeled this political mobilization. Having originated as a middle-class patriotic club in the Civil War North, the league now emerged as a political voice of impoverished freedmen. Even before 1867, local Union Leagues had sprung up among blacks in some parts of the South, and the order had spread rapidly during and after the war among Unionist whites in the Southern hill country. Now, as freedmen poured into the league, ‘the negro question’ disrupted some upcountry branches, leading many white members to withdraw altogether or retreat into segregated branches. Many local leagues, however, achieved a remarkable degree of interracial harmony.” [Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, p. 283] The garbage about the “survival of Southern civilization” only means keeping blacks subjugated, which the racist Adams wants.
Adams writes, “The illiterate and simple-minded freedmen were easy victims of their guile. Hate the whites. Hate your former masters. Vote for us and we will divided the spoils of the South with you. the blacks were incited to treat the whites with contempt.” [p. 153] More racism from Adams. He thinks blacks were simple-minded. Who kept them illiterate? It wasn’t due to what Adams thinks is their simple-mindedness. It was a deliberate action on the part of the racists Adams loves. “Contrary to traditional interpretations, the leagues were not simply vehicles used by opportunistic white radicals to organize superstitious blacks. Many of the local black league leaders enjoyed considerable grass-roots support among the freedmen. The ritual and secrecy of the meetings were means of protecting league members from the planters’ wrath.” [Edmund L. Drago, Black Politicians and Reconstruction in Georgia: A Splendid Failure, p. 78]
Adams writes, “The Union Leaguers, supported by black militiamen, started an intraracial war between the black militia and black Democrats. The sign in an 1878 polling booth, ‘Death to Colored Democrats,’ was no idle threat. At a political meeting in the 1868 presidential campaign in Georgia, the following banner was displayed: ‘every man [negro] that didn’t vote the Radical [Republican] ticket, this is the way we want to serve him: hang him by his neck.’ ” [p. 153] Adams’ source for this is Roberta F. Cason, “The Union League in Georgia,” Georgia Historical Quarterly, Vol 20, No. 2, June, 1936, p. 138. His note says page 137, but that’s just more sloppiness on his part. Cason has no source for her claim. She simply asserts that banner was displayed. “The overriding purpose of the Ku Klux movement, no matter how decentralized was the maintenance or restoration of white supremacy in every walk of life. In the minds of many men, the most urgent reason for resorting to vigilante activity was to check any incipient Negro rising. There was a great inclination after 1867 to overlook the earlier fears of this sort and the vigilantism arising from them, and to ascribe the dangers solely to Radical Reconstruction. Other men regarded the Klan primarily as an agency to deter and punish Negro crime, a function which the authorities–especially if they were Republicans–allegedly could not or would not do. But even when they admitted that the courts were ready and willing to punish Negro crime, many whites were reluctant to abandon the old and convenient methods of control which the Klan continued to supply. ‘I suppose these men who belong to this organization do not wish to take the trouble of having the matter investigated in court when they can attend to it so easily,’ an Alabamian explained. Legal prosecutions required time, trouble, and money which white men should not have to spend in disciplining Negroes. Still other Democrats ascribed the Klan movement to high taxes, corrupt officials, or other deficiencies of the Republican regimes. Most Klansmen exhibited little knowledge or interest in such problems, however, and their raiding of Negro cabins did nothing to rectify them. The Klan was accepted widely as an extralegal defense against the Union League, which Conservatives mistook for a Negro terrorist organization” [Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction, p. xlvi] In other words, Adams is merely repeating the ignorant claims of ignorant racists that have nothing to do with what was really true.
Adams writes, “The most destructive force for the ex-slaves was the conduct of the returning black soldiers in Yankee uniforms. They did more to turn Southern whites against all blacks than did the carpetbaggers and conquering armies of occupation. Few Confederate veterans were able to stomach armed black soldiers patrolling the streets of their hometown, jostling their wives and daughters from the sidewalks and claiming authority over all.” [p. 154] Here Adams is blaming the victim. In effect, he’s saying, “Those uppity n—–s deserved what they got.” Apparently he thinks it’s okay for southern whites to murder, abuse, and oppress blacks simply because there were black soldiers who had guns.
Adams, additionally, plagiarizes from Leon Litwack’s Been in the Storm So Long. This statement: “Few Confederate veterans were able to stomach armed black soldiers patrolling the streets of their hometown, jostling their wives and daughters from the sidewalks and claiming authority over all.” is given without quotations and without citation. Compare it to this quotation from Litwack: “Few Confederate Army veterans were able to maintain their composure when they returned to their homes to find armed, uniformed black men patrolling the streets, jostling their women from the sidewalks, and claiming authority over their families.” [Leon F. Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, p. 268]
Adams continues, “One pro-Northern writer had to admit that ‘the catalogue of ‘atrocities’ and ‘daily outrages’ for which black soldiers were responsible seemed endless.” [p. 154] Here he does reference Litwack; however, as is his wont he takes Litwack out of context to make it seem as though Litwack is saying something opposite of what he’s actually saying. Here is what Litwack actually wrote: “The catalogue of ‘atrocities’ and ‘daily outrages’ for which black soldiers were held responsible seemed limitless, with nearly every white man and woman prepared to related some still more horrible tale. While sometimes exaggerated or invented, the stories usually contained an element of truth; their authenticity, however, was less important than how whites chose to define an ‘outrage.’ The black soldier mixed indiscriminately with whites, occasionally at ‘miscegenation’ dinners and dances; he did not always wait to be addressed before he deigned to speak to whites; he might reprimand and harass whites in the streets, perhaps even arrest them for a trivial offense; and in several communities, he conspired to release black prisoners from the jails, charging that they could not obtain impartial justice, and he clashed openly with the authority of local police. No white man who witnessed the incident was likely to forget that day in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a black sergeant arrested the chief of police for carrying a weapon illegally and then escorted him as a prisoner through a throng of cheering freedmen.” [Leon F. Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, pp. 268-269]
Adams continues, “A white man who had been arrested and was in jail in Victoria, Texas, was dragged from the jail and lynched; another, in South Carolina, also in jail, was taken by black soldiers, shot, and buried after a ‘drumhead court-martial’ by the black lynch mob.” [p. 154] This is also taken without quotation from Litwack with the context removed. Here’s how Litwack puts it: “Nor were black soldiers immune to meting out extralegal justice if they thought local courts and officials would fail to punish whites for offenses against black persons. In Victoria, Texas, they entered the jail, dragged out a white man accused of murdering a freedman, and lynched him. With equal dispatch, black soldiers in South Carolina disposed of an ex-Confederate soldier who had fatally stabbed a black sergeant after he had refused to leave a railway car in which several white women sat; the soldiers tried him by ‘drumhead courtmartial’ and then shot and buried him.” [Leon F. Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, p. 269]
Adams says, “In short, by insulting whites in the presence of ex-slaves, black Union soldiers created a dangerous illusion of power and even superiority that would infect the observing ex-slaves. By telling them that they would soon obtain the lands of their former masters, these black soldiers encouraged false expectations and furnished a disincentive to work.” [p. 154] This is another case of Adams plagiarizing Litwack and removing context. Compare that portion to this from Litwack: “That black soldiers exercised a subversive influence on the recently freed slaves seemed obvious to most whites. During the war, slave owners had often blamed the massive desertions from the plantations on outside influences, preferring to think that black soldiers ‘intimidated’ faithful slaves who had otherwise wished to remain in their service. And now, in this critical period of transition, the conduct of the black troops allegedly encouraged impressionable freedmen to defy white authority. By insulting whites in the presence of the ex-slaves, the soldiers created erroneous illusions of power and even superiority. By making black laborers dissatisfied with their working conditions and telling them they would soon obtain the lands of their masters, the soldiers encouraged false expectations and the withdrawal of steady labor. By boarding the trains and streetcars and sitting indiscriminately in public places, they encouraged the violation of time-honored southern customs. By their behavior, Henry Ravenel believed, these ‘diabolical savages’ had turned ‘a quite, contented, & happy people’ into ‘dissatisfied, unruly, madmen intoxicated with the fumes of licentiousness, & ready for any acts of outrage.’ ” [Leon F. Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, p. 269]
Adams writes, “Why work when a glorious day of black rule and wealth was just around the corner? This seemed inevitable, with the carpetbaggers telling them so, the black soldiers with their military power telling them so, and Union generals and armies camped in their midst.” [p. 154] Adams shows his racism and dishonesty once again.
He says, “The once proud Southerners swallowed these insults and assertions of power–but only for a short season; then the tables would turn and whites would once again return to power. In the meantime, the Klan would come to the aid of the whites and foretell of things to come–the doom of the blacks’ expectation of ruling Southern society.” [p. 154] Adams is not only lying about history, he is channeling his inner David Duke to do so. Again, he doesn’t consider blacks to be southerners–only whites can be southerners to Adams.
Adams writes, “Out of this threat to the white establishment, the Ku Klux Klan turned into a militant, guerrilla order, and its purpose became to reestablish and preserve white rule in the South, and to protect themselves from militant ex-slaves, hell-bent for revenge for generations of servitude. The ex-slaves demanded property rights. Said one Virginia black, ‘We has a right to the land … didn’t we clear the land, and raise de crops?’ Said a Virginia scalawag, urging the blacks to pillage: ‘There is corn and wheat and flour and bacon and turkeys and chickens and wood and coal in the State and the colored people will have it before they starve.’ The audience of blacks ‘cheered wildly.’ ” [pp. 154-155] Adams cites Claude Bowers’ The Tragic Era for this passage. Indeed, on page 200 one can find James Hunnicutt of Virginia saying the exact quotation about corn, wheat and flour, etc.; however, there is no source for the alleged quotation from the “one Virginia black.” That statement does not appear in Bowers at all. Adams plays up the KKK as if they were some heroes coming to the aid of oppressed whites. There was nothing heroic about that cowardly band of murderers and rapists, and they were only one group of white racist terrorists. “In the southwest Georgia village of Camilla, 400 armed whites, led by the local sheriff, opened fire on a black election parade, and then scoured the countryside for those who had fled, eventually killing and wounding more than a score of blacks. Blacks had no doubt who was behind the violence. ‘We don’t call them democrats,’ a local leader commented on the assailants, ‘we call them southern murderers.’ Similar events occurred in Louisiana, where even moderate ex-Governor Hahn by October complained that ‘murder and intimidation are the order of the day in this state.’ White gangs roamed New Orleans, intimidating blacks and breaking up Republican meetings. In St. Landry Parish, a mob destroyed a local Republican newspaper, drove young teacher and editor Emerson Bentley from the area, and then invaded the plantations, killing as many as 200 blacks.” [Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, p. 342] Those are Adams’ heroes.
Adams continues his dishonesty. He uses a minority report on the KKK, from the Democrats who were hostile to blacks from the very start, as if it was an objective report.
He quotes a passage from Robert T. Barton’s memoir, identifying Barton as “a Southern leader who had made his peace with the Union.” [p. 156] He omits the primary reason for Barton’s bitterness: “The slaves had been set free and by all sorts of airs those who had not run away (with some admirable exceptions) and those who having run away had now returned when assured of their freedom, were with many airs and graces, asserting their equality with their late masters.” [in Margaretta Barton Colt, Defending the Valley: A Shenandoah Family in the Civil War, p. 377]
Adams writes, “It did not take long for the Southerners to realize the danger they were in. Troops arrived to rule over the South. The few newspapers that sought to criticize the generals and Northern Reconstruction policy were shut downa nd locked up, just as Lincoln had done during the days of the war. Then in 1867 Congress took away from all of the South and its people the constitutional right of habeas corpus. Freedom of the press died, and there wasn’t even a war or a rebellion.” [p. 156] Adams is a complete and total liar here. The Habeas Corpus Act of 1867 did no such thing. It “greatly expanded citizens’ ability to remove cases to federal courts.” [Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, p. 277] In other words, a prisoner didn’t have to solely appeal to the state system for a writ of habeas corpus. They could also appeal to a Federal court. Adams continues his tactic of outright lies in order to justify his heroes, the cowardly white supremacist terrorists of the Reconstruction KKK. And again, southern blacks aren’t considered southerners.
Adams writes later, “In 1878, things changed dramatically. The Northern conquerors went home and any need for guerrilla operations ceased, as the defeated Southerners reasserted control over their society. The Klan should have returned to being a social organization, with the patriotic purposes expressed in their oath. Any justification for the Klan’s existence as a paramilitary organization ended. Unfortunately, the violence and lawlessness of the past ten years continued against the weak and defenseless minority of ex-slaves who were not welcome to emigrate north with the withdrawing Yankees because of the Northern black codes. It was then that the Klan became a criminal conspiracy against law and civilized order.” [p. 164] Adams again gives us his racist lies. Blacks to him can’t be southerners, and the KKK was only protecting people. The black codes in Northern states had long been repealed by 1878, so he’s lying about that as well. The KKK was a criminal organization almost from the very beginning, and Adams ‘ disgusting defense and admiration of those cowards shows what a truly despicable person he is.