Knights of Columbus Archives

Historical Commission

The Historical Commission files (1916-1964) detail the work of this commission which was established by the Supreme Assembly of the Fourth Degree in 1921.

Set up “to investigate the facts of history as applicable to our country, to correct historical errors and omissions, to amplify and preserve our national history, to exalt and perpetuate American ideals and to combat and counteract anti-American propaganda,” it sponsored an American History contest offering prizes for the best studies based as far as practicable on original research in primary sources in the field of American History.

Samuel Flagg Bemis won for his manuscript Jay’s Treaty, A Study in Commerce and Diplomacy, and this work was published as the first volume of the Knights of Columbus Historical Series.

This record group contains copies of the works published by the commission and related correspondence.  The June 1924 issue of Columbia magazine featured an article entitled Racial Contributions to America about a series of books on the racial contributions to the United States published as part of the work of the Commission.