ⓘ Laura Martin Rose
Rose was born in 1862 near Pulaski, Tennessee, the town where the Ku Klux Klan would be formed three years later. After her marriage she often identified herself with her husbands name, as Mrs. S. E. F. Rose.
Rose wrote a pamphlet, called Origins of the Ku Klux Klan, sold as a fundraiser by the Daughters of the Confederacy, of which she was Mississippi division president. The funds were to be used to erect a Confederate monument at Jefferson Daviss home. The pamphlet promoted the Lost Cause narrative of the American Civil War and presented racist acts of violence as heroism.
Encouraged by the success of the pamphlet, Rose expanded it into a textbook titled The Ku Klux Klan, or Invisible Empire. Rose hoped that the book would inspire southern boys to commit acts of violence against African American men who she perceived as a threat to the virtue of white women. The book was unanimously endorsed both by the Daughters of the Confederacy at their 1913 convention in New Orleans, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Jacksonville in 1914, with aim of promoting the it in schools throughout the American South.
Rose became historian-general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1916. She died in 1917.
1. Re-founding of the Klan
Roses 1914 textbook contributed to mythologizing and glorifying the Ku Klux Klan, which at that time was a nearly-extinct regional organization. It was one of a number of works of the era that would lead to the Klans re-founding in 1915.
According to journalist Michelle Serrano, Roses textbook served to propagate white supremacy and helped to bring about the Jim Crow era of racist laws.