KKK Ledger 1

Collection Highlight

Ku Klux Klan Membership Ledgers

Greater Denver area, 1920s

History Colorado holds two Ku Klux Klan membership books for the Greater Denver area and beyond. The information inside them, which was collected for administrative purposes around 1924 through 1926, dates from the peak of the Klan's influence in Colorado. Together they have nearly 30,000 entries across more than 1,300 pages that record the names and other personal details, such as home and business addresses, of people affiliated with the KKK in metropolitan Denver and other areas. While the first 69 entries appear to be missing, the ledgers otherwise appear to be completely intact.

All of this information is now available online in searchable PDF format. Links are available below. An interactive map of entries is also forthcoming.

Additional resources available below include discussion guides for educators and learners, upcoming events and programs, and a selection of articles and other materials. These items were compiled to frame the ledgers in a context of resistance to oppression, and emphasize the voices and perspectives of those targeted and silenced by 20th-century organized discrimination in Colorado, namely people identified by Klan members as atheist, Black, Catholic, communist, Hispano and Latino, LGBTQ, immigrant, Jewish, and Muslim. 

In a spirit of more actively naming and confronting systems of inequality, History Colorado aims to make these items available as freely and widely as possible. In keeping with our grounding virtues, we hope to unlearn harmful long-held ideas and practices through this sharing process. 


"Colorado Under the Klan" by James H. Davis →

This article first appeared in the Spring 1965 edition of the Colorado Magazine. It highlights the extent to which members of the Ku Klux Klan permeated the government offices, both elected and appointed, of Colorado during the 1920s.
 


Lincoln Hills Primary Resource Set →

This collection of primary, contemporary resources details the history of Lincoln Hills, a mountain resort for African Americans. It includes excerpts of larger documents and full text of shorter sources, as well as detailed annotations by civil rights attorney Dani Newsum.
 


Stories of Hate and Resistance: An Annotated Bibliography of Newspaper Articles Documenting the Klan in Colorado →

The Ku Klux Klan came to Colorado in 1921, and took advantage of existing prejudices in its rapid rise to prominence. Across the state, newspapers documented the KKK’s rapid rise, its seizure of state and local political offices, and its equally rapid decline. This collection features excerpts from Colorado newspapers of the early 1920s, along with annotations detailing the historic context and audience of these articles.


 

 

Contact Us:

Stephen H. Hart Research Center 
Email cosearch@state.co.us or call on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 10-3pm at (303)866-2305.

History Colorado Center 
For general information about programs, exhibits, and services, please call 303-HISTORY (303-447-8679).

For educators
josie.chang-order@state.co.us

 

Sponsors & Credits:

This project was made possible in part by an award from the Colorado Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives Records Administration.

History Colorado thanks its Community Advisors for this work: Dr. Brenda J. Allen, Professor Emerita, Anschutz Medical Center; Ms. Ellington, community member; Dr. Claire Garcia, Colorado College; Sue Parker Gerson, Mountain States - ADL; Dr. Nicki Gonzales, Regis University, History Colorado State Historian’s Council; Johnny Humphrey, The Center on Colfax; Rabbi Rachel Kobrin, Congregation Rodef Shalom; Reynaldo Mireles, SAGE USA; Derek Okubo, City and County of Denver, Human Rights and Community Partnerships; P. Barclay Jones, Chinook Fund; Tara Raju, Mountain States - ADL; and Sandra Shreve, Calvary Baptist Church.

Image Credit: Ku Klux Klan Membership Ledgers. Photo by Katie Bush courtesy History Colorado, MSS.366