Quotes from the Mississippi Constitutional Convention 1890 | Facing History & Ourselves

Quotes from the Mississippi Constitutional Convention 1890

This source includes quotes from delegates at the 1890 Mississippi Constitutional Convention asserting the desire to create a government to uphold white supremacy.
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English — US
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  • History
  • Social Studies
  • Democracy & Civic Engagement
  • Human & Civil Rights
  • Racism

In 1890, Mississippi convened a convention to write a new state constitution. Below are quotes from several delegates from the Democratic Party about the convention. Of the 134 delegates present, only one was Black. 

“Let’s tell the truth if it bursts the bottom of the Universe. . . . We came here to exclude the Negro. Nothing short of this. . . . Negro suffrage is an evil. . . . The Negro race seems unfit to rule.”

—Solomon Saladin “S. S.” Calhoon

“It is the manifest intention of this Convention to secure to the State of Mississippi, ‘white supremacy.’”

—Delegate George P. Melchior of Bolivar County

“What are you here for, if not to maintain white supremacy?”

— Delegate Will T. Martin of Adams County


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