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Golden circle, the.

The scheme for establishing an empire whose corner-stone should be negro slavery contemplated for the area of that empire the domain included within a circle the centre of which was Havana, Cuba, with a radius of 16 degrees latitude and longitude. It will be perceived, by drawing that circle upon a map, that it included the thirteen slavelabor States of the American republic. It reached northward to the Pennsylvania line, the old “Mason and Dixon's line,” and southward to the Isthmus of Darien. It embraced the West India Islands and those of the Caribbean Sea, with a greater part of Mexico and Central America. The plan of the plotters seems to have been to first secure Cuba and then the other islands of that tropical region, with Mexico and Central America; and then to sever the slave-labor States from the Union, making the former a part of the great empire, within what they called “The Golden circle.” In furtherance of this plan, a secret association known as the “Order of the Lone Star” was formed. Another association was subsequently organized as its successor, the members of which were called Knights of the Golden circle (q. v.). Their chief purpose seems to have been the corrupting of the patriotism of the people to facilitate the iniquitous design. The latter association played a conspicuous part as abettors of the enemies of the republic during the Civil War. They were the efficient allies of those who openly made war on the Union.

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James M. Mason (1)
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