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By John F. Marszalek

ISBN-10: 0813030021

ISBN-13: 9780813030029

Born a slave in 1850s South Carolina and elected to Congress within the Eighteen Nineties, George W. Murray the antithesis of the African American male within the Jim Crow South and served as a beacon for African americans who observed their hopes beaten within the aftermath of the Civil conflict. Early within the 20th century, besides the fact that, tragically defeated via corrupt Reconstruction politics and white supremacist attitudes he couldn't break out, Murray was once pushed from place of work and from the country. Drawing on huge study to reconstruct Murray’s existence tale, Marszalek defines an age and its humans in the course of 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, incorporated phrases within the U.S. apartment of Representatives and management of South Carolina’s Republican celebration. He was once an investor in addition to a landed house owner who bought tracts to terrible blacks to ensure that them to qualify to vote. yet via the start of the 20th century, together with his get together in shambles, he discovered himself on trial for alleged forgery in a land take care of of his black land buyers. Murray used to be stumbled on accountable, and the South Carolina ultimate court docket upheld the decision. Sentenced to challenging exertions on a sequence gang, he escaped to Chicago the place he spent the remainder of his lifestyles in obscurity.
 

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Extra resources for A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow: South Carolina's George Washington Murray

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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.

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A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow: South Carolina's George Washington Murray by John F. Marszalek


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