Was it Brownlow's fault that the KKK was formed

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Any governor who supported blacks voting and exercising their civil rights, as guaranteed by law, was bound to be extremely unpopular. Brownlow may be an unpleasant individual, but the Archangel Gabriel would have gotten a similar response, if he supported citizenship for blacks. And Brownlow would be getting a pass if he had kept blacks from voting. Maybe not from us, but from the whites of the time.
 

WJC

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I'm absolutely sure Brownlow was nothing but radical, full of hate, and had no interest in forward progress.
Thanks for your response.
From what little I've read about him, that seems true. But then, is it? Had he not been such a fervent and successful advocate for the 14th Amendment, would he have been so poorly thought of?
 

uaskme

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Brownlow was Pro Slavery before the Emancipation Proclamation. His Yankee Providers started to take exception to his stance and he became an Abolitionist. I would suspect he was more of a opportunist that a Equalitarian. Successionist ran him and Andrew Johnson out of the State, so I would suspect he held a grudge.
 
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WJC

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For the most part, imho, Reconstruction wasn't near as bad for the South as 'Lost Cause' dogma would have one believe - however, the radical Republicans did run amok after Lincoln was no longer present to ride herd on them. I think in many states the Reconstruction was deemed awful simply because the freedmen tried to make something of themselves. They proved to be progressive-minded, eager to change things and make life good for everybody. Think they scared their former masters - it meant that everything those gentlemen thought they knew about 'the sable sons of Africa' was wrong and that they were the backward troglodytes.

Brownlow, however, was a nut.
Thanks for your response.
I agree. Recently I read some information concerning the finances of Southern states during Reconstruction. As it applies to your thoughts, the Reconstruction state governments- and Black legislators- are often criticized, largely because of the tax increases. Little thought is given to why the taxes were increased: it was not corruption, but new expenditures for- among other things- universal public schools, schools that benefited all Southerners.
As to Brownlow, as I have said, I know little about him. That, and my lack of a suitable degree and training, makes me hesitant to discuss his mental health....
 
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M.Warren

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Had he not been such a fervent and successful advocate for the 14th Amendment, would he have been so poorly thought of?

Brownlow past Radically pro slavery and said it was,"ordained by God." He challenged abolitionists to debate and when Frederick Douglass accepted his challenge, he refused due to his race.

Robert McKenzie, Lincolnites and Rebels: A Divided Town in the American Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

His real issue was hate for the former confederates. He and William B. Carter had recruited large number, a few dozen, Unionists from the surrounding area of Carter County and had been authorized by Lincoln for the destruction of nine strategic railroad bridges, followed by an invasion of the area by Union Army forces from southeastern Kentucky. They managed to destroy five of the nine targeted bridges, but the Union Army failed to show up. They'd been identified by one of the Confederate guards and taken him away to silence him for good, but after he begged for his life and promised he wouldn't ever tell who they were they let him go. Two weeks before the bridge burning Brownlow closed up shop and ran to Sevier County to avoid be identified as part of the party. Soon the Confederate solders were knocking on his door and when they realized he'd fled sent word for him to come turn himself in. The guard who'd seen them and the bridge and been let go had informed the Confederates in the area as to who they were. While he was hiding the soldiers were rounding up most of the Unionists, they hanged part of them on the spot, right next to the train tracks and sent the other half that had only helped plan the raid but not taken part in the raid that night, off to prison in Tuscaloosa Alabama where many of them also died. Brownlow turned himself in on a promise that he'd be protected from harm, then denied any involvement in a letter to William H. Carroll. When he showed up he was grabbed and tossed in a cell by a local district attorney, J.C. Ramsey acting on behalf of the state and spent 3 or so weeks there not knowing if he would live or die. In the end Carroll kept his word and was able to get permission from the capitol to take Brownlow to Kinston NC, and then to Portsmouth where he was sent to the Union lines. His wife and kids were also escorted to the Union lines in the following week or so. You'd think he might feel lucky to be alive and thankful Carroll kept his word. Instead he was nominated for governor by a convention of Tennessee Unionists in January 1865. and set off on his mission, of revenge on the former Confederates.


Links:
Union account of bridge burning by 13th TN Vol. Cavalry.

Congressional Serial Set. Confederate Correspondence from Bridge Burning to exile


800px-Hensie-fry-hanging-brownlow-1861.jpg

Strawberry-plains-bridge-cropped.jpg

This was mostly from memory so don't quote me on exact details.
 
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diane

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Brownlow past Radically pro slavery and said it was,"ordained by God." He challenged abolitionists to debate and when Frederick Douglass accepted his challenge, he refused due to his race.
Robert McKenzie, Lincolnites and Rebels: A Divided Town in the American Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

His real issue was hate for the former confederates. He and William B. Carter had recruited large number 100+ Unionists from the surrounding area of Carter County and had been authorized by Lincoln, for the destruction of nine strategic railroad bridges, followed by an invasion of the area by Union Army forces from southeastern Kentucky. They managed to destroy five of the nine targeted bridges, but the Union Army failed to show up. They'd been identified by one of the Confederate guards and taken him away to silence him for good, but after he begged and promised he wouldn't ever tell who they were they let him go. Two weeks before the bridge burning Brownlow closed up shop and ran to the mountains to avoid be identified as part of the party. Soon the Confederate solders were knocking on his door and when they realized he'd fled sent word for him to come turn himself in. The guard had informed the Confederates in the area as to who they were, and while he was hiding the soldiers were rounding up most of the Unionists, hanging part of them on the spot, right next to the train tracks and sent the other half that had only helped plan the raid but not taken part that night, off to prison where many of them also died. Brownlow turned himself in on a promise that he'd be protected from harm, then denied any involvement in a letter to William H. Carroll. When he showed up he was grabbed and tossed in a cell by a local attorney acting on behalf of the state and spent 3 or so weeks there not knowing if he would live or die. In the end Carroll kept his word and was able to get permission from the capitol to take Brownlow to Kinston NC, and then to Portsmouth where he was sent to the Union lines. His wife and kids were also escorted to the Union lines in the following week or so. You'd think he might feel lucky to be alive and thankful Carroll kept his word. Instead he was nominated for governor by a convention of Tennessee Unionists in January 1865. and set off on his mission, of revenge on the former Confederates.


Links:
Union account of bridge burning by 13th TN Vol. Cavalry.

Congressional Serial Set. Confederate Correspondence from Bridge Burning to exile


View attachment 160732
View attachment 160733
This was mostly from memory so don't quote me on exact details.

That's why Brownlow was Brownlow! He was never shy about shooting off his mouth in the most offensive way possible - he even advocated loudly that all who served with the Confederacy should be sterilized and their children removed to Union families. But it makes me laugh that he wouldn't debate Frederick Douglass because he was black. That wasn't all of it - Douglass would have made mincemeat out of him in one minute, with three-quarters of his brain tied behind his back to make it fair.
 

M.Warren

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That's why Brownlow was Brownlow! He was never shy about shooting off his mouth in the most offensive way possible - he even advocated loudly that all who served with the Confederacy should be sterilized and their children removed to Union families. But it makes me laugh that he wouldn't debate Frederick Douglass because he was black. That wasn't all of it - Douglass would have made mincemeat out of him in one minute, with three-quarters of his brain tied behind his back to make it fair.

Exactly! Its so obvious he was a second away from death the whole time he was jailed, just from reading the Confederate correspondence back and forth, that I cant believe he ever opened his mouth again but it didnt stop Brownlow... District Attorney Ramsey, wanted to take him out so bad it wasnt even funny. He said his Knoxville family had been on the receiving end of Brownlow's abusive harangues for nearly two decades, and he was convinced of Brownlow's involvement. If he hadn't gotten that Confederate officers word that he'd be safe, he would have never walked out of there. He was such a pain in the butt the Confederate staff said they rather know they had and enemy and let him go North than have him there..
 

nitrofd

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For anyone who is interested,Brownlow wrote a biography of himself.
It is available on Amazon for Kindle for free.
I guess we will see a real biased view of himself.
I just downloaded it as its only 45 pages.
 

WJC

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His real issue was hate for the former confederates.
Thanks for your response and the links.
So the "former confederates" had no complaint with him... until he began 'taking revege' on them?
 

uaskme

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Thanks for your response and the links.
So the "former confederates" had no complaint with him... until he began 'taking revege' on them?

Some People just don't know when it is time to just Call It Even and just Go On!

Maybe you can see where this 1st Phase of the Ku Klux had as much to do about Radical White Republicans as it did Blacks.
About Dissolution of Klan
Judge J.P. Young, who was secretary of the Memphis Den and one of the last survivors of those intimately associated with its officers, dated the dissolution still later, in the summer of 1869.

Judge Young's recollection is the more credible because he did not attempt to recall a date but placed the event with reference to another publicly recorded event the date if which is certain. De Witt C. Senter, a conservative Republican who became governor by automatic succession when "Parson" Brownlow, the Reconstruction Governor of Tennessee, resigned on February 20, 1869, to go to the United States Senate, stood for re-election by the people in August of that year. In a contest of great strife and bitterness the Conservative Republicans and those Democrats who could vote, powerfully aided by the Klan, most of whose members could not, managed to re-elect Senter, and overthrow Radical rule in Tennessee, for good.

Within ten days after the election, said Judge Young, the Memphis Den, holding its regular noon session in the Inving Block, received orders from the Grand Wizard, then at Nashville, to disband, destroy records and regalia-simply blot itself out. The order was delivered by messenger and also, in cipher, by telegraph, who feared for leaks and a discovery, which, however, did not come. pp448-449 First with the Most by Robert Selph Henry
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Had to agree, certainly, anyone who advocated the black vote would be wildly unpopular- but boy, Brownlow is one of those figures in history you just cannot, with the best filter on the market, squinting into the sun, cotton stuffed in your ears or shellacking over all the manure, give credit to as having advanced the human race. His single, accidental good deed was on his way to an agenda- and maybe he's serving less time somewhere smoky because of it.

The thing is, he's still at it. He's made us divisive on the same topic 150 years later. Saying I find Brownlow a loathsome human being who viciously bullied and hounded countless American citizens from his position of power somehow makes me ' pro ' the other guy. It's silly. Brownlow was 150% sow's ear, not a silk purse in sight.
 

nitrofd

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I just started reading Brownell bio and I am starting to smile.interesting read.in 1858 he was in a debate about slavery and he was for slavery.the entire debate was printed and is over 400 pages.
 

diane

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Some People just don't know when it is time to just Call It Even and just Go On!

Maybe you can see where this 1st Phase of the Ku Klux had as much to do about Radical White Republicans as it did Blacks.
About Dissolution of Klan
Judge J.P. Young, who was secretary of the Memphis Den and one of the last survivors of those intimately associated with its officers, dated the dissolution still later, in the summer of 1869.

Judge Young's recollection is the more credible because he did not attempt to recall a date but placed the event with reference to another publicly recorded event the date if which is certain. De Witt C. Senter, a conservative Republican who became governor by automatic succession when "Parson" Brownlow, the Reconstruction Governor of Tennessee, resigned on February 20, 1869, to go to the United States Senate, stood for re-election by the people in August of that year. In a contest of great strife and bitterness the Conservative Republicans and those Democrats who could vote, powerfully aided by the Klan, most of whose members could not, managed to re-elect Senter, and overthrow Radical rule in Tennessee, for good.

Within ten days after the election, said Judge Young, the Memphis Den, holding its regular noon session in the Inving Block, received orders from the Grand Wizard, then at Nashville, to disband, destroy records and regalia-simply blot itself out. The order was delivered by messenger and also, in cipher, by telegraph, who feared for leaks and a discovery, which, however, did not come. pp448-449 First with the Most by Robert Selph Henry

Henry's bio is good but he was still tiptoeing around the klan. Forrest's grandson was the Grand Dragon in Georgia - even though he'd passed away a few years before Henry's book was published it was still not good to talk about the subject too much! That's what I was meaning about the original klan being made up of people who were not particularly against blacks. Many were like Forrest at that time - leave them alone and they'll come home - but it is interesting about the Grand Wizard's orders. Forrest assured Congress in the inquiries that he had shut down the organization and it was no more anyway - which makes some other parts of his testimony rather dodgy - but most historians agree that Forrest did not have the authority to disband them. But he did it because of his influence. In the west, Forrest had the same revered position Robert E Lee had in the east. If Lee said jump, most of the people in Virginia would ask how high on the way up! Same thing with Forrest in Tennessee and Mississippi.
 

WJC

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Some People just don't know when it is time to just Call It Even and just Go On!
Thanks for your response.
I apologize for the delay in responding: I have been 'off line'.
Can you remind me what" Some People just don't know when it is time to just Call It Even and just Go On!" has to do with the topic....
 

WJC

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[QUOTE="uaskme, post: 1667062, member: 18906" Maybe you can see where this 1st Phase of the Ku Klux had as much to do about Radical White Republicans as it did Blacks.
About Dissolution of Klan [/QUOTE]
Thanks for your response.
I can certainly appreciate that the Klan targeted White Republicans as well as Black freedmen. That is a point I have often made when discussing Reconstruction and/or the Klan.
 

WJC

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About Dissolution of Klan
Judge J.P. Young, who was secretary of the Memphis Den and one of the last survivors of those intimately associated with its officers, dated the dissolution still later, in the summer of 1869.

Judge Young's recollection is the more credible because he did not attempt to recall a date but placed the event with reference to another publicly recorded event the date if which is certain. De Witt C. Senter, a conservative Republican who became governor by automatic succession when "Parson" Brownlow, the Reconstruction Governor of Tennessee, resigned on February 20, 1869, to go to the United States Senate, stood for re-election by the people in August of that year. In a contest of great strife and bitterness the Conservative Republicans and those Democrats who could vote, powerfully aided by the Klan, most of whose members could not, managed to re-elect Senter, and overthrow Radical rule in Tennessee, for good.

Within ten days after the election, said Judge Young, the Memphis Den, holding its regular noon session in the Inving Block, received orders from the Grand Wizard, then at Nashville, to disband, destroy records and regalia-simply blot itself out. The order was delivered by messenger and also, in cipher, by telegraph, who feared for leaks and a discovery, which, however, did not come. pp448-449 First with the Most by Robert Selph Henry
Thanks for your response and additional information....
 

WJC

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For anyone who is interested,Brownlow wrote a biography of himself.
It is available on Amazon for Kindle for free.
I guess we will see a real biased view of himself.
I just downloaded it as its only 45 pages.
Can you provide a link?
The version I found on Amazon, William Gannaway Brownlow, Americanism Contrasted with Foreignism, Romanism, and Bogus Democracy in the Light of Reason, History, and Scripture; In which Certain Demagogues in Tennessee, ... are Shown Up in Their True Colors, has 375 pages.
See https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004UK17SA/?tag=civilwartalkc-20
 
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Former Confederate general Thomas Hindman might qualify has he supported black voting rights and was murdered by the KKK.
Leftyhunter

You may mean Hind not Hindman.

Hindman fled to Mexico after the war and when he returned he became active in Democrat politics. He opposed the Radicals and was assassinated in his home by a sniper. Since ex-Confederates were disenfranchised in Arkansas, he had attempted to recruit negro voters for the conservatives. That was thought to be the reason for his murder. No one was ever convicted although a black man confessed years later. The killing was said to be revenge for KKK activities. Hindman lived for several hours after being shot and made a speech from his porch urging peace and forgiveness.
 
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