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
Too many people were abandoning the country for the city, and this exodus was driving down wages. ” Blacks should even organize vigilante groups to help the police track down “every vagrant and loafer” on the streets. Murray, who was a full-blooded black man, saved his harshest condemnations for the black exponents of status according to lightness of skin. ” He urged his Charleston audience to ostracize anyone espousing such ideas 22 / A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow whether that person be businessman, politician, or preacher.
Actually, the maneuvering was not altruistic. The national party was interested in the black voter to the extent that he could help the national party. As southern disfranchisement inexorably eliminated these voters, the national Republican hierarchy became increasingly interested in white converts and decreasingly concerned for blacks. National Democrats had no interest at all in the black franchise, so the weak Republican interest was the black man’s only hope. He had to live with repeated Republican appeals to white southerners and try to prevent them from resulting in his total electoral elimination.
The Sumter County convention reflected this attitude. The supporters of T. B. S. Marshall G. I. Cunningham had to be sum- 28 / A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow moned to maintain order. Since Cunningham opposed Brayton as state chairman, the Braytonites demanded his departure. The Millerites demanded he stay. He remained, amid steady tumult. On the second day of the scheduled one-day meeting, the convention finally nominated Miller over Brayton and Murray, twenty-one to eleven to seven.
A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow: South Carolina's George Washington Murray by John F. Marszalek