The White Caps
In 1905 White Cap vigilante groups were particularly active in rural areas of the Border States and the Midwest. Members, generally faced with declining income and political power, acted as agents of social control, punishing offenses that the state and local governments failed to address adequately. The film offers a view of small-town America in which a wayward member is taught a lesson without the formalities of the legal system, the rural community acting as an extension of the family. Owen Davis's play "The White Caps" appeared in various cities a few months before the Porter film was made, while Thomas Dixon's "The Clansman" was in much publicized rehearsals.