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Robert E. Scoggin Papers

Filing title: 
Scoggin (Robert E.) Papers

Robert E. Scoggin papers
MS0335

Summary Information

Repository
J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Creator
Scoggin, Robert E., (Robert Echols), 1922-2003
Title
Robert E. Scoggin papers
ID
MS0335
Date [inclusive]
1900-2003
Extent
2.5 Cubic feet
Language
English
Abstract
Papers of a member and grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina, primarily from the 1960s to the 1980s. This collection consists primarily of publications of various Klan organizations, but also includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, periodicals, film footage, and personal information.

Preferred Citation note

Robert E. Scoggin Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Robert Echols Scoggin was born to John and Pearl McEntyre Scoggin on May 12, 1922, in Green Creek, Polk County, North Carolina. It should be noted that on several documents in his papers, his name is often spelled “Scoggins,” rather than “Scoggin,” and even his birth certificate lists his name as “Robert Eckles Scoggins.” Though he was born in North Carolina, his family moved across the state line, to South Carolina, early in his life. While he was in his late teens, he got a job at the Beaumont Textile Mills in Spartanburg, as a head doffer. Just a few weeks before his twentieth birthday, Scoggin married Rachel Pecolier Hawkins, on May 5, 1942. Apparently, the couple foresaw Robert’s future induction into the military, and decided to marry before his enlistment. Scoggin enlisted in the Navy on August 30, 1942, and served as a coxswain. His training included food preparation, and anti-aircraft gunnery operation. Later, he received a wound as the result of an enemy engagement, and belatedly received a Purple Heart from the Department of the Navy (on December 5, 1960). As with all new seamen who cross the equator for the first time, he was initiated with ceremonial rites into the “Ancient Order of the Deep” by Neptunus Rex. This ritualistic ceremony may have had a lasting effect on Scoggin, as he was a member of several fraternal organizations, each embracing its own rituals and ceremonies. According to his son, Jonathan Scoggin, Robert served in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and two of the ships on which he served were sunk. He received an honorable discharge on October 17, 1945, and his discharge papers provide the largest amount of information about Scoggin and his personal life up to 1946. In 1950, he enlisted in the US Coast Guard as a seaman. However, his papers do not reveal the length of time he served in CG. Though this collection of approximately two cubic feet of documentation, pertain mostly to the Ku Klux Klan, it provides scant information concerning when he joined the Klan, or how he rose through the ranks to a leadership position. His letter of temporary resignation, written just prior to his incarceration in March of 1969, indicates that he joined the Klan in April 1953, and another letter, dated January 5, 1970 indicates that he was the South Carolina grand dragon from January 1, 1962 to January 1, 1969. His papers include a typed transcript of charges made against him by a US Grand Jury (Criminal Case No. 229-66), in which the House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoenaed him and other Klan officials to turn over Klan membership records. Scoggin refused to comply, and eventually was sentenced to imprisonment (in LaTuna, Texas) for one year for contempt of Congress, beginning in April 1969. He was granted a parole on November 19, 1969, and was released shortly before Christmas that year. Scoggin temporarily resigned from his position as grand dragon of the South Carolina Klan on March 17, 1969 so that another member could fulfill his duties while he served his sentence—with the stipulation that he would resume his office and duties after his release from prison. By 1968, Soggin’s relationship with certain members of the national leadership of the United Klans of America, Inc., was already starting to deteriorate, and by early 1969, he began making public statements (many of them published in newspapers), asserting his belief that the KKK was in a state of decline and under the wrong leadership. For his publicized criticisms, the UKA banished him on April 20, 1969. However, he still had his supporters, and assumed the office of grand dragon of the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (as opposed to the United Klans of America), which he re-incorporated in June of 1970. He resigned from the Invisible Empire in late 1973 due to his wife’s declining health and his other personal obligations. Rachel died of cancer on September 15, 1980. In spite of his “resignations” Scoggin remained active in the Klan as long as his health permitted. According to interviews of two of his children (Peggy Scoggin-Holland, and Jonathon Scoggin), Robert was a good-looking, and intelligent man. They also describe him as a good organizer and charismatic with a wide range of people. Both described him as being very opinionated, with unchanging values; and Klan membership and leadership served as his venue for publicizing his opinions. Jonathon remarked that he would have made a great politician, and could have made a career in public service. According to Peggy, it was Robert’s charismatic personality as well as his organizational skills that fueled his rapid ascent through the ranks. Both described him as a strict disciplinarian, but not cruel or mean, as a father. Neither thought of him as being intolerant, but they did say that he believed that the African-American and Jewish communities had a hidden agenda. Moreover, Scoggin believed that these and other groups were trying to use the federal government to restrict personal liberties, and infringe private property rights. He and other Klansmen seemed to have thought that anyone with left-wing values—were “communists.” He also believed that left-wingers were conspiring with Jews and Negroes to subvert the white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant establishment. Lastly, he was steadfastly opposed to people living on government hand-outs. Oddly enough, Scoggin was strongly opposed to violence, and governed the South Carolina Klan with a very firm hand, insuring that his “realm” would not become involved in violence. Those in his Klan who were inclined toward violence, he quickly banished. His administration was one that distinctly differed from the usual Klan image. It only typified other Klans with its white robes, hooded regalia, ritualistic ceremonies, and cross burning rallies. One of the things about the Klan that appealed to him was its fraternal nature. The Realm of South Carolina, under Scoggin’s administration also engaged in philanthropic charitable work by making financial donations to needy families, including black families. Jonathon pointed out that the Scoggin family also gave generously to black families from their extensive vegetable garden. According to Peggy, her father planted flowers in the garden of a black woman in his neighborhood, and Jon said that his father treated others (including blacks) with respect, that his Klan ideology was a matter of political opinion, rather than a personal hatred toward non-white minorities. As the bulk of records in this collection are most comprehensive for the 1960s and 1970s, there is little documentation of Scoggin’s life or work in the Klan for the 1990s. There is, however, a small amount of material to indicate that he was still, at least somewhat involved in advancing his values of “American-ism” late in his life. Robert Scoggin died in South Carolina on March 29, 2003. His daughter, Ms. Peggy Holland, of Concord, NC, deposited Scoggin’s papers to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Library in August of 2003. [Jonathon Scoggin, interview by Ruth Faye Griffin, November 20, 2004. Peggy Scoggin-Holland, interviewed by Griffin, November 5, 2004.]

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Scope and Contents note

The papers of Robert E. Scoggin pertain mostly to his role as grand dragon of the South Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, from the 1960s to the 1980s, and include such things as correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, ideological pamphlets, membership recruitment material, broadsides, and a wide range of ephemeral Klan material. Collection also contains photographs, and audio-visual materials.

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Arrangement note

This collection is divided into 5 series:

Series 1: Personal Material Series 2: Klan Organizations Series 3: Klan Related Materials Series 4: Non-Klan Organizations Series 5: Miscellaneous

Collection also contains an assortment of three dimensional items, stored in a buff colored box within Box 2 of this collection.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte (November) December 2004

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223
704-687-1170
spec-coll@uncc.edu

Revision Description

Encoded by Robert A. McInnes August 2005

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Deposit of Peggy Holland, in 2003.

Processing Information note

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, December 2004.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Interviews with Jonathon Scoggin and Peggy Scoggin Holland; Oral History Collection, UNC Charlotte Library.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Ku Klux Klan (1915- )--South Carolina.
  • United Klans of America.

Family Name(s)

  • Scoggin family.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Southern States--Race relations.

Personal Name(s)

  • Scoggin, Robert E., (Robert Echols), 1922-2003

Subject(s)

  • Race discrimination.
  • Racism--South Carolina.
  • White supremacy movements--South Carolina.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Personal Material

Scope and Contents note

Series I contains papers concerning Scoggin’s personal and non-Klan related activities, such as his birth certificate, marriage license and marriage certificate, and some notes concerning the Scoggin/Scoggins family genealogy, and membership in other fraternal organizations.

Box Folder

Birth Certificate, Marriage License and Marriage Certificate

1 1

Naval and Coast Guard Service Records

1 2

Letters received 2003

1 3, 4

Fraternal Organizations

Box Folder

Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

1 5

Scottish Rite.

1 6
Box Folder

Scoggin/Scoggins Genealogy

1 7

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Series II: Klan Organizations

Scope and Contents note

Contains a vast assortment of papers concerning his KKK membership and activities, and constitutes the majority of this collection. A complicating factor of this collection revolves around the complexity of the Klan organization. The Ku Klux Klan is not a single organization, but one that has frequently divided into a variety of splinter groups—some of which are national organizations with their own state “realms” and local chapters. Other Klans are local groups, not affiliated with any national organization. Series II contains an accumulation of papers generated by these organizations, including Scoggin’s own Realm of South Carolina.

Box Folder

Confederate Klans of Alberta (Canada)

1 8

International Keystone Knights of the KKK

1 9

Invisible Empire Assoc. of Alberta (Canada), Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

1 10

Invisible Empire, Knights of the KKK

1 11

Florida Knights of the KKK

1 12

Indiana, Realm of

1 13

Kourier, The 1993, May

1 14

Ladies’ Auxiliary

1 15

Bulletins 1968

Scope and Contents note

South Carolina, Realm of

1 16

Incorporation charter 1970 Jun 16 Chronological files

1 17

Kligrapp’s Monthly Report 1972 Jan

Scope and Contents note

Chronological files

1 18

Lease of land for a Klan rally 1973 Oct 13 Chronological files

1 19

Kligrapp’s monthly report 1974 Aug Chronological files

1 20

Degree of the Dragon 1975 Jan 16

Scope and Contents note

Chronological files

1 21

Newsletter 1981 Feb 2

1 22

Concerned Citizens Committee of South Carolina

1 23

Correspondence 1970-1996, undated

1 24

Kloran

Scope and Contents note

(Klan constitution)

1 25

Manuals of Ritual and Ceremony

1 26

Pamphlets

1 27

Stationery

1 28

United Kingdom. Lancashire. Manchester.

Scope and Contents note

Knights of the KKK.

1 29

Pasadena Rescue Service

1 30

Publications: 1966 March

1 31

The Free American 1966 March

Imperial Night-Hawk 1924 January 23

Kall of the Klan 1940 March 2

The Klansman 1977

Scope and Contents note

United Klans of America, Inc.

National Knights of the KKK

1 32

North Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

1 33

Southern White Knights of the KKK. Cross and Sword, The

1 34

United Klan Knights of the KKK

Scope and Contents note

United Klans of America, Inc.

1 35

Certificate of appointment to the office of grand dragon 1962 Sept 5

1 36

Correspondence 1962-1970

1 37

Fiery Cross, The 1959-1980

1 38-41

Radio news broadcast transcript 1962 Sept 30

1 42

Realm of Indiana

1 43

Undated Material

1 44

White Knights of the KKK (New Jersey)

1 45

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Series III: Klan-Related Materials

Scope and Contents note

Contains a wide assortment of papers concerning Scoggin’s Klan-related activities and ideology, including audio and visual tapes, a folder of KKK ephemera; three files of papers concerning federal lawsuits against Scoggin; Scoggin’s letters to the editor of Spartanburg newspapers; a collection of magazines featuring articles on the Klan; a large subseries of newspaper clippings (these clippings are arranged in chronological order, and some of them have been relocated to oversize storage in range 2.6); and another important subseries on Klan ideological subject matter.

Box

Audio and Audio-Visual recordings

3

Audio recordings (tape)

3

VCR cassette

Scope and Contents note

The film footage on five small reels has been transferred onto a VCR cassette, as well as a compact disc. This film footage includes documentation (without sound) of a Christmas parade, Klansmen picketing against the NAACP (which they believed had been infiltrated by the Communist Party), a Klan funeral (of unidentified Klan members), a Klan rally, probably at Stone Mountain, GA).

3

Compact Discs

Scope and Contents note

The audio tapes have been converted onto compact discs. The audio tapes have been converted onto compact discs. CD 1 was produced by WSPA, on June 7, 1968, and features the voices of Martin I. Price, candidate in the primary election for the Democratic Party nomination for a seat in the SC Statehouse; and Richard Golden. This program concerns the SC KKK, and a smear campaign initiated by Scoggin against Price. CD 2 is a sermon. Speaker and date are unidentified. CD 3 is a speech on Christianity, Judaism, and communism.

3

CD 1 June 7, 1968

Scope and Contents note

Produced by WSPA, on June 7, 1968, and features the voices of Martin I. Price, candidate in the primary election for the Democratic Party nomination for a seat in the SC Statehouse; and Richard Golden. This program concerns the SC KKK, and a smear campaign initiated by Scoggin against Price.

CD 2

Scope and Contents note

Sermon [Speaker and date are unidentified].

CD 3

Scope and Contents note

Speech on Christianity, Judaism, and communism.

Box Folder

Ephemera 1966 Jan. 3

1 46-47

US District Court Grand Jury. Transcript & Report, Legal Actions 1966 Jan. 3

1 48

Application for Parole, Legal Actions 1969 Jul 23.

1 49

Civil Action 68-712, Legal Actions . 1970 Jul 21

1 50

Letters to editors

1 51
Box

Magazine Articles

Scope and Contents note

1938 June 25, Collier’s [page 1, illustration of black railroad car porters at work]. 1947 May 12, Life, pp. 33-41, “Bulgaria gets the new democracy.” 1964 February 7, Life, pp. 44-44D, “British answer an SOS and nip a mutiny.” 1965 January 30, Post, pp.26-33 (2 copies), “’We got nothing to hide.’” 1965 April 23, Life, pp. 28-35, “Hooded horsemen gallop out of the past in a sudden revival of the KKK.” 1965 May 21, Life, pp. 33-39, “Pictorial Summation of a tragicomic mistrial.” 1965 June 19, Post, pp. 86-89, “Murder: the Klan on trial.” 1966 Jan 25, Look, “How the Jews Changed Catholic Thinking.” 1968 November 12, Look, pp.96-113, “The story of James Earl Ray & the conspiracy to kill Martin Luther King.” 1972 December 29, Life, pp. 60-61, “Once again, violence to haunt the political stage.” 1977 May 27, New Times, pp.21-32, “The Marine Corps Builds Klansmen.”

2

Collier’s 1938 June 25

Scope and Contents note

[page 1, illustration of black railroad car porters at work].

Life 1947 May 12

Scope and Contents note

pp. 33-41, “Bulgaria gets the new democracy.”

Life 1964 February 7

Scope and Contents note

pp. 44-44D, “British answer an SOS and nip a mutiny.”

Post 1965 January 30

Scope and Contents note

pp.26-33 (2 copies), “’We got nothing to hide.’"

Life 1965 April 23

Scope and Contents note

pp. 28-35, “Hooded horsemen gallop out of the past in a sudden revival of the KKK.”

Life 1965 May 21

Scope and Contents note

pp. 33-39, “Pictorial Summation of a tragicomic mistrial"

Post 1965 June 19

Scope and Contents note

pp. 86-89, “Murder: the Klan on trial.”

Look 1966 Jan 25

Scope and Contents note

“How the Jews Changed Catholic Thinking.”

Look 1968 November 12

Scope and Contents note

pp.96-113, “The story of James Earl Ray & the conspiracy to kill Martin Luther King.”

Life 1972 December 29

Scope and Contents note

pp. 60-61, “Once again, violence to haunt the political stage.”

New Times 1977 May 27

Scope and Contents note

pp.21-32, “The Marine Corps Builds Klansmen.”

Box Folder

Newspaper Clippings 1956-1978

Scope and Contents note

(mostly from the Spartansburg Herald-Journal)

1 52

Newspaper Clippings undated

Scope and Contents note

(mostly from the Spartansburg Herald-Journal)

1 53

Story of the Original Ku Klux Klan, A

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 54

The Councilor 1978 May 15

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Highlander Folk School

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

National Christian News 1966-1972

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

Box Folder

National Chronicle 1970 Feb. 4

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Southland Standard 1961

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Spotlight

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Thunderbolt, The 1966 Dec.

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Truth Behind Slavery, The undated

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Truth Behind Your Roots, The undated

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Voice of German Americans 1978 Oct

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

White Paper

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

White Patriot: Worldwide Voice of Aryan People

Scope and Contents note

Publications (The originals are located in Oversize Storage)

1 55

Abortion

Scope and Contents note

Subject Matter

1 56

Communism

Scope and Contents note

Subject Matter

1 57

Patriotism

Scope and Contents note

Subject Matter

1 58

Religion

Scope and Contents note

Subject Matter

1 59

Anti-Catholic Literature

Scope and Contents note

Subject Matter

2 1

Anti-Semitic Literature

Scope and Contents note

Subject Matter

2 2

White Supremacy

Scope and Contents note

Subject Matter

2 3

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Series IV.: Non-Klan Organizations

Scope and Contents note

Because the Klan is not the only organization pre-occupied with white supremacy, Scoggin acquired papers from other groups such as the National Party and the National Socialist League. These form Series IV: Non-Klan Organizations.

Box Folder

Christian Patriots Defense League

2 4

Defensive League of Registered Americans

2 5

The Knights of the Confederacy

2 6

The National Party.

2 7

The National Socialist League.

2 8

Save Our Kids

2 9

The Voice of Liberty Association

2 10

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Series V: Miscellaneous

Scope and Contents note

Papers not fitting into the previous three series are reserved for Series V, at the end of this collection, and include a letter (date July 5, 1900) from the law office of Ralston & Siddons, to Richard Gray, concerning an unspecified bill that had been introduced into Congress in 1900. The connection of this letter to Scoggin and his Klan activity cannot be established, as Scoggin was not born until 1922 and the Klan had fallen into a period of dormancy between the years of 1872 and 1915.2 Other items in the Miscellaneous Series include a flyer concerning Barry Goldwater’s candidacy for president, an undated newspaper article concerning a bear hunting expedition that included Scoggin and some of his friends, an advertising flyer from the Eanes Manufacturing company, an undated photograph of the O’Donohue & Son farrier business (location unknown), and a flyer produced by the Baptists of Israel. Following this folder are two files containing newspaper clippings concerning the deaths of General Douglas MacArthur and President Dwight Eisenhower. Lastly, there is a folder of facsimile copies of broadsides of slave sale advertisements, and a folder of papers from Governor George Wallace of Alabama.

Box Folder

Miscellaneous papers and correspondence 1900-2003

2 11

Eisenhower, Dwight. Death. March 29. 1969

Scope and Contents note

(newspaper clippings)

2 12

MacArthur, Douglas. Death. April 6, 1964

Scope and Contents note

(newspaper clippings)

2 13

Slave sale broadsides

Scope and Contents note

(facsimiles)

2 14

George Wallace

2 15

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Three-dimensional objects

Scope and Contents note

Stored in a buff colored box are the following three-dimensional objects: KNIGHTS OF THE KU KLUX KLAN ARE WATCHING YOU cards (a large bundle) Lapel badges (2) “Goldwater for President – Rally – September 17, 1964” 45 rpm record Veterans plea and Dear Mr. President, by Harry Fats. Cotton cloth bag from the Commercial National Bank, Spartanburg, SC Unidentifiable metal object, mostly red, with the letters KIAA on it American flag, 4.5 x 7.5” Restore States’ Rights flag, 4.5 x 7.5” Confederate battle flag, 9 x 14” KKK button K patches (black with gold letter) (3) Bessinger Bessinger banner [Maurice Bessinger was a candidate for governor in S.C. in 1974.] Masonic lapel pin[[?] Bolo ties with Klan medallions (2)