Monday, March 26, 2018

The Knights of the Golden Circle

Who were they?


Doing research, I ran across this interesting piece of information and after reading and seeking what I could find about the KGC, I decided to use these facts to create a fiction story titled Bed of Conspiracy.


The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was a secret society in the mid 19th century in the United States. In 1854 an Indiana doctor named George W.L. Bixley who later ran the organization out of Cincinnati, Ohio formed this new secret society. The purpose was to save the south as everyone knew that a war would arrive, facing off the industrialized north against the agriculture south.


The original objective of the KGC was to annex a ‛Golden Circle’ of territories in Mexico, Central America, Confederate States of America, and the Caribbean as slave states to be lead by Maximillian I of Mexico.


As abolitionism in the United States increased after the Dred Scot Secession of 1857, the members proposed a separate confederation of slave states with the U.S. States south of the Mason-Dixon line to secede and to align with other slave states to be formed from the ‛Golden Circle’. In either case, the goal was to increase the power of the Southern slave-holding upper class to such a degree that it could never be dislodged.


Whew…that’s a big ticket to fulfill. They would need men, munitions and money…tons of money. And that’s where the James boys came in. After the war, they began robbing trains and banks, even ones here in Kentucky, such as the Russellville, Elkton and Glasgow banks. But where did all that money go? Civil War Era gold coins, worth $5000 back then, were later found in Baltimore, Maryland in 1935 buried under a house that was owned by a prominent KGC member before and after the War.


According to some historians, numerous KGC symbols have been found that were carved into rocks and trees in various areas of Kansas and Missouri. This would lead someone to believe that the loot was buried nearby.


Other tales abound: that Bob Ford never killed Jesse James and that instead James pulled one of the biggest hoaxes in American history by getting away with his own murder. Jesse James became James Courtney and settled in Texas. Later, he would disappear for weeks at a time to go dig up the loot the gang had stashed across the west when his family needed the money.

My novel takes place in 1876 when the James Boys were still active as was the underground KGC. During this time, a lot of Southern Sympathizers were converging on Washington DC to over throw the government and assassinate President Grant. This would become the 6th and final attempt on his life.


Ahhh…history! Ya gotta love it!

Until next time…Happy Trails!



Author’s Note

To me, this is a very interesting little-known fact of our nation’s history that I have taken  liberty with to spin a yarn about placing the story during the summer of 1876. The Knights of the Golden Circle were formed in 1854 and became a large subversive southern society that had organizations all over the country, totaling over 45,000 members at one time, including a large cell or castle as they referred to them, of members in Baltimore, Maryland. They stood with the fight for the south’s agriculture way of life against the northern influences and takeovers. Many factors were involved leading to the Civil War, and it depends upon which historical point of view you wish to believe. Even today these arguments are still being heatedly debated. John Wilkes Booth was a very outspoken member of the KGC. After the Civil War, The Knights of the Golden Circle went underground and became an active secret society with deadly force, excelling in sabotage, infiltrating our Government and maintaining a very efficient spy network. There were and are many stories that continue to surface about Jesse and Frank James, who were also members of KGC and the banks and trains they robbed and what happened to the loot that was meant to fund the secret society’s future endeavors. I began this yarn three years ago but was called away by more demanding characters who wanted their stories told. A couple of months ago, I resurrected it as these characters said it was time to tell their narrative. I have taken the liberty of spinning my own fictitious account with some of these facts. I hope you enjoy the story. 


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