By John F. Marszalek
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Extra resources for A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow: South Carolina's George Washington Murray
A. Webster. In a time of political party turmoil in both parties, this achievement of unity made Murray look good indeed. Unfortunately, the Sumter unity was not duplicated at the state convention. m. that evening. Even then, the convention’s organization had not been decided. Just like the split Democrats, the Republicans disagreed not over policy but over personality. The dispute centered on the alleged corruption and incompetence of Brayton’s leadership and whether or not a change was required.
The simultaneous development of Democratic intra-party factionalism of the worst kind was an important reason why there was no favorable response to black appeals. In January 1890, Benjamin R. Tillman’s Farmers Association issued its “Shell Manifesto,” scheduling a March meeting for the purpose of capturing the later Democratic Party state convention. 8 Every state with a large agricultural population was in turmoil, as the Alliance movement and the later Populist Party attempted to organize farmers to try to solve their economic problems.
Blacks became Republicans, but only a limited number of southern whites joined them. 38 National Republicans had tried to compromise with southern Democrats in 1876. They had ceased contesting white Democratic control of southern state political life in return for southern acquiescence in Rutherford B. Hayes’s election to the presidency and a promise of fairness to black voters. Persuasion, not continued military force, would settle the turmoil in the South, national From Slavery to Public Life / 15 Republicans believed.
A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow: South Carolina's George Washington Murray by John F. Marszalek