When my grandfather's mother died he brought home a big atlas from the 1870s from
her house. Stuck in the pages of this atlas were many family pictures, newspaper clippings,
etc. that she had kept over the years. There was also an old picture of a Ku Klux
Klan man standing in his white sheet with an American flag, a burning cross, a school
house, and a church in the background. Underneath it read: One Flag One School One Church. In small print on the bottom it read: M. Wells 1924. When my grandpa died I got the atlas.
Although I believe this picture to be of historical importance, I don't want it in
My grandpa told me stories of how his father took him to Klan meetings when he was
a little boy. He never spoke highly of his father. In addition to being racist, his
family also hated Catholics. My grandpa fell in love with my Catholic grandma just
after he came home from the war and they married soon after. My grandma told me that
his cousins started bad mouthing Catholics, not knowing she was one, and my grandpa
never spoke to them again because they had insulted his one true love. It's good to
know that people can unlearn the rubbish their parents teach them.
Another interesting thing that I found in this atlas was an old newspaper article
from the 1950s in which the writer criticizes hate groups. If his mother took the
time to cut out that article, it shows that maybe the logic of it changed her heart
a little, regardless of her husband's Klan membership.
I was looking for a place for these two things -- the picture and the newspaper article
-- and came across your museum on the Internet. Would you be interested in having
these? The picture is tatty at the edges, but if handled carefully and framed it should
last for many more years. Just let me know and I'll post them over to you. The work
you do is so important. Thank you.
-- Sept. 21, 2005
BACK TO LETTERS