Another hideous racist New England historical skeleton dragged out of its well-hidden closet by Rhode Island historian Gloria Schmidt. Do not fail to read the Rhode Island Historical Society article linked to in this article. Although it’s creepily pro-Klan it has a wealth of information embedded (and misrepresented) in it. —IWPCHI
We don’t usually picture Portsmouth as a town that would host a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan. As I research Portsmouth history I can take pride in the examples of integration in Portsmouth schools, churches and in the community in general. But Portsmouth is a town like any other town, and bigotry did exists, especially in the 1920s. Accounts in the Newport Mercury in May of 1924 record a “Fiery Cross” being burnt in a field near the Newport County Fair Grounds. Abby Sherman’s Diary on May 26, 1924 reads: “Last Night the Fiery Cross was burned on the hill on the Cory land by the Klan. There were about 200 at the meeting.” * I believe the Cory Farm was where St. Barnabas Church is today.
Abby’s son, Arthur Sherman, was among those listed as members of the Klan. Arthur was a prominent…
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