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Democratic Party Platform of Pike County, Alabama (1874)

As the 1874 campaign for governor and state legislature began in Alabama, the Pike County Democratic Party’s platform gave supporters this guidance for how to treat white Republicans:

[Nothing] is left to the white man’s party but social ostracism of all those who act, sympathize or side with the negro party, or who support or advocate the odious, unjust, and unreasonable measure known as the civil rights bill; and that from henceforth we will hold all such persons as enemies of our race, and we will not in the future have intercourse with them in any of the social relations of life.1

Citations

  • 1 : Quoted in Glenn M. Linden, Voices from the Reconstruction Years, 1865–1877 (Harcourt Brace/Cengage 1998), 201.

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Louisiana White League Platform (1874)

The White League was a paramilitary group that was allied with the Democratic Party in the South. In 1874 and 1875, the White League was responsible for widespread violence against black and white Republicans in Louisiana and Mississippi. The group’s platform from 1874 is articulated here.

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Speech by Senator Charles Hays Reaffirming the Rights of African Americans (1874)

In 1874, Congress was debating a new civil rights bill that would end segregation of public transportation and public accommodations (such as hotels). Charles Hays of Alabama, a former slaveholder turned Republican congressman, supported the bill despite growing opposition, threats, and violence in his state. Here he addresses Congress to share his views.

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President Hayes Removes the Remaining Troops

The 1876 presidential race between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden was extremely close. Amidst violence, intimidation, and voter fraud, the winner of the election for president and governor in South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana was disputed. These states were the last three former Confederate states governed by Republicans. Congress set up a special commission to decide the election, and a compromise was reached. According to the Compromise of 1877, the three Southern states would give their electoral votes for president to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, but Democrats would be allowed to take control of the governments of those states. Hayes was inaugurated on March 5, 1877. Among his first acts was to end Northern occupation of the states still under military control.

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A Cabin in Hale County, Alabama During the Great Depression

A cabin where an African American family lived, in Hale County, Alabama during the Great Depression.

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