"AMERICAN PROTECTIVE LEAGUE SECRET SERVICE" BADGE AND LETTER.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009 2:00:00 AM (20 Minute Clock Begins At Wednesday, March 25, 2009 2:00:00 AM)
Auction #197 - Part I
Item numbers 1 through 991 in auction 197
First is 8x10.5" envelope dated July 27, 1917. Letterhead reads "Department Of Justice/Bureau Of Investigation/Philadelphia." Upper left reads "Frank L. Garbarino/Special Agent In Charge." Body of letter certifies that Mr. Lukens has been "Designated By The Officers Of The American Protective League To Visit Cities In The Vicinity Of Philadelphia To Organize Local Branches Of The Said League." He asks for your cooperation. Signature of Garbarino below. Letter Fine. Comes with un-mailed envelope with "Department Of Justice" return address. Lot includes 1.75x2.75" well made, pressed metal badge reading "American Protective League/Secret Service/2987." An official numbered badge of the league. The American Protective League was formed shortly after the US entered WWI. It earned semi-official status in the national surveillance game, in time growing to enormous size. The league was one of many organizations created to search out disloyalty in schools and the community. The members became volunteer spy hunters. One would have to wonder if some members of this secret association in the teens later became members of the KKK by the mid-20s. Such a statement is only speculative, but likely with some merit considering the enormous popularity of the Klan after WWI. Badge has some age toning, but Exc. An interesting part of our American culture.
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