In an effort to prove to the treasure hunting community that the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) (33) were not the super secret organization that many are claiming today, I'll be bringing you newspaper articles from the 1850's and 1860's.
This first article comes from the Cedar Valley Times and was printed in August of 1861. Due to my typing skills, I'll post it in several sections. I think you will find it interesting due to the fact it exposes many of the KGC secret signs and symbols. Enjoy!
We are not prepared to state how long the Order of the Knights of the Golden Circle has been in existence. It never assumed in public estimation much importance until after the springing up of the great question of Union or disunion in our land. It is believed to have materially changed its character since then, and certainly has played a prominent part in the political affairs of the nation. It's members bear the same relation to other dis unionist that regular soldiers do to the militia. The association is upheld and applauded as patriotic and noble by the whole disunion press everywhere. Every imp elation against it is resisted by the disunion press as a blow at the disunion cause.
The success with which the Knights of the Golden Circle have kept the secrets of their order has been a matter of wonder to many. The Chief of the Order has pretended to publish all the written portion of the ritual or rituals, but we knew perfectly well that he was attempting a fraud upon the community. Hundreds of members of the Order have sworn a dreadful oaths that they would kill anyone of their fellows who should dare to reveal, and any editor or printer who should be guilty of publishing their mysteries. Probably the knowledge of these oaths has kept many persons silent who felt that they were under a solemn obligation to their fellow man to speak what they know. For ourselves, we care not for their threats. A public man is miserably unfit for his station if he hesitates to do his duty and trust the consequences to God and to his fellow man.
We have before us all the secret documents of the Order of the Knights of the Golden Circle. That they are authentic, we give our solemn assurance as an editor and a man.We proceed to publish such portions as will give a correct and full idea of the character and purposes and plans of the Order.
There are three degrees of the Order: the First Military, the Second Financial, the Third Governmental.
The Ritual of the First Degree contains little of special importance. We will here premise that the reading of the Rituals is entirely unintelligible except by the aid of keys, and a great many numerical figures being substituted for words. We are in possession of the keys, and in what we publish of the Rituals we shall give it just as we find it, putting into parenthesis the meanings of the figures. The following two paragraphs are from the Obligation taken in the First Degree, the words of the first being spoken by the Treasurer, and those of the second by an officer called the Captain:
Captain - Gentlemen, we must now tell you that the first field of our operations is 2 (Mexico); but we hold it to our duty to offer our services to any Southern State to repel a Northern army. We hope that such a contingency may not occur. But whether the Union is reconstituted or not, the Southern States must foster any scheme having for its object the Americanization and Southernization of 2 (Mexico), so that in either case our success will be certain.
To be continued......................................................