The members accidentally discovered that the fear of it had a great influence over the lawless but superstitious blacks, and soon the club expanded into a great federation of regulators, absorbing numerous local bodies that had been formed in the absence of civil law and partaking of the nature of the old English neighbourhood police and the ante-bellum slave patrol.
In calling upon dangerous blacks at night they pretended to be the spirits of dead Confederates, "just from Hell," and to quench their thirst would pretend to drink gallons of water which was poured into rubber sacks concealed under their robes.
The whites who were responsible for the conduct of the blacks were warned or driven away by social and business ostracism or by violence.
The elections were controlled for a few years, and violence was checked, but the Ku Klux movement went on until it accomplished its object by giving protection to the whites, reducing the blacks to order, replacing the whites in control of society and state, expelling the worst of the carpet-baggers and scalawags, and nullifying those laws of Congress which had resulted in placing the Southern whites under the control of a party composed principally of ex-slaves.
139° gaining a practical solution of the problem of the destination of the westward-flowing rivers, Sir Thomas Mitchell, in 1833, led an expedition northward to the upper branches of the Darling; the party met with a sad disaster in the death of Richard Cunningham, brother of the eminent botanist, who was murdered by the blacks near the Bogan river.
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