Download A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow: South Carolina's by John F. Marszalek PDF

By John F. Marszalek

Born a slave in 1850s South Carolina and elected to Congress within the Eighteen Nineties, George W. Murray looked to be the antithesis of the African American male within the Jim Crow South and served as a beacon for African americans who observed their hopes overwhelmed within the aftermath of the Civil struggle. Early within the 20th century, in spite of the fact that, tragically defeated via corrupt Reconstruction politics and white supremacist attitudes he couldn't break out, Murray used to be pushed from workplace and from the country. Drawing on broad study to reconstruct Murray’s lifestyles tale, Marszalek defines an age and its humans during the compelling conflict of 1 guy and exhibits how and why the nation’s efforts to reconstruct the South right into a biracial democracy failed.
            Murray’s profession, which spanned 1 / 4 of a century, integrated phrases within the U.S. condo of Representatives and management of South Carolina’s Republican celebration. He was once an investor in addition to a landed owner of a house who offered tracts to negative blacks to ensure that them to qualify to vote. yet via the start of the 20th century, along with his celebration in shambles, he stumbled on himself on trial for alleged forgery in a land take care of of his black land dealers. Murray used to be discovered to blame, and the South Carolina perfect court docket upheld the decision. Sentenced to demanding hard work on a series gang, he escaped to Chicago the place he spent the remainder of his lifestyles in obscurity.

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Black representation in the state legislature dropped from fifteen to seven. Instead of fostering unity, however, this result only increased Republican infighting, and Murray was in the thick of it. During a raucous debate in Sumter among candidates for the 1884 seventh district Republican congressional nomination, Murray tried to join in, but the meeting’s chairman, Sam Lee, ruled him out of order. Angrily Murray excoriated Lee, the man he had so strongly supported in 1882. Lee gaveled for order; Murray responded by marching up and down the aisle demanding to be heard, and the delegates became increasingly restive.

Tillman, in contrast, represented the “ignorant rabble” (the same group Murray had praised just a year previously at the Alliance barbecue). Another delegate immediately retorted that Tillman deserved support because he was responsible for splitting the Democrats. He ridiculed Murray’s contention of Conservative fairness, citing examples of Conservative anti-black violence. In 32 / A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow response, Murray insisted that, if blacks used their power wisely, both Democrat factions would respect them.

Whittaker was found in early April in his West Point room, the victim of a nighttime attack by three masked men. 23 The big issue was whether or not to support U. S. Grant for a third presidential term. The debate droned on interminably until Murray, though a newcomer, protested. He told the convention delegates that he was tired of all the haggling and just wanted to go home. 24 Murray’s political debut began with a successful display of impatient frustration at his political party’s vacillation, a display of temper that in later years would become even more evident in his political personality.

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