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Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Secession, Civil War

Presenter: 
David C. Keehn
Duration: 
(01:00:07)

On June 13, 2013, David C. Keehn delivered a Banner Lecture entitled "Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Secession, Civil War." The Knights of the Golden Circle was a mysterious southern-based society that set out in 1859 to establish a slave empire in Mexico. In late 1860, it shifted its focus to supporting the secession movement and intimidating Unionists in the South. According to David Keehn, once the war began, the Knights helped build up the nascent Confederate army and carried out various clandestine actions, including an attempt to assassinate Abraham Lincoln as he passed through Baltimore in 1861. Keehn, an attorney from Allentown, Pa., is the author of Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War.