Edward Young Clarke

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Edward Young Clarke
Edward Young Clarke 1922 newspaper.jpg
In his office, 1922
Parent(s)E. Y. Clarke, Sr.

Edward Young Clarke was the Imperial Wizard pro tempore of the Ku Klux Klan from 1915 to 1922. Prior to his Klan activities, Clarke headed the Atlanta-based Southern Publicity Association. He later served as the president of Monarch Publishing, a book publishing company.


Early life[edit]

Edward Young Clarke was born in Georgia according to census records. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, as his mother, Elnora Harrison Clarke, and his father, Colonel Edward Y. Clarke Sr. were both longtime citizens of the city. His father was the owner of The Atlanta Constitution newspaper from 1870 to 1876, whose managing editor was his brother, Francis Clarke.


In the early 20th century, Clarke joined the Ku Klux Klan, which had been reborn in Atlanta. He then served as the Imperial Wizard pro tempore of the Ku Klux Klan from 1915 to 1922.[1] He devised the "kluxing" system of payments to the hierarchy within the Klan.[1][2] Along with Elizabeth Tyler, he helped to turn the initially anemic second Ku Klux Klan into a mass-membership organization with a broader social agenda.

In March 1924, he pleaded guilty to violating the Mann Act, after being arrested for a violent attack against a young woman who worked for him.[3] In 1940, he was arrested in Chicago for failing to pay a $600 hotel bill, cashing a $76 worthless check, and the failing to repay $600 he borrowed from a Chicago woman.[4]

Book publisher[edit]

He was the President of Monarch Publishing, a book publishing company.[5] In 1939, he published the novel The Flaming Sword by Thomas Dixon, Jr..[5]


  1. ^ a b "Clarke Quits Post As Head Of Ku Klux. Imperial Wizard Pro Tem. Will Turn Over the Order to Col. Simmons on Nov. 10. He Scores Enemies in Letter of Resignation -- Says He Will Devote His Time to Private Business". The New York Times. October 5, 1922. Retrieved 2009-10-26. Edward Young Clarke, Imperial Wizard protem, of the Knights Ku Klux Klan and virtual dictator of the order for several years, has just announced his withdrawal from all official connection with the Klan. From November 10 he will be merely a member.
  2. ^ Lyman Abbott; Ernest Hamlin Abbott; Hamilton Wright Mabie, eds. (1921). "The Outlook, Volume 127".
  3. ^ "Imperial Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan in Kustody". Federal Bureau of Investigation. March 11, 2004. Archived from the original on September 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26. Eighty years ago, in mid March 1924, Edward Young Clarke, an advertising executive in the state of Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court to violating the Mann Act (an anti-prostitution measure enacted in 1910). The fact that he had been caught taking his mistress across state lines, however, was just the tip of this federal case.
  4. ^ "Seized in fraud cases; Says he's ex-Klan leader". Chicago Daily Tribune. July 12, 1940. Retrieved 2009-10-27. Edward Y. Clarke, who said he once was of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia, was seized yesterday In his room at 4700 Kenmore avenue on charges of failing to pay a $600 hotel bill, cashing a $76 worthless check, and failure to repay $600 borrowed from a Chicago woman. ...
  5. ^ a b Anthony Slide, American Racist: The Life and Films of Thomas Dixon, Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2004, pp. 186-189 [1]