Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 247

Price Realized: $ 2,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(PRESIDENTS--1884 CAMPAIGN.) Report by a Republican organizer on what is needed for a fair election in South Carolina in 1884. Autograph Document Signed by J. Hendrix McLane. 5 pages on 5 sheets, 6¾ x 4½ inches; mailing folds, minimal wear. South Carolina, [1884]

Additional Details

A hunt for thousands of South Carolina election supervisors: "Colored men except in a few instances will not do, as they are unable to cope with the Red Shirt bulldozers."

While some historians regard Reconstruction as already having been defeated by 1880, here we see Republican Party activists making a desperate last stand to hold fair 1884 elections in the face of election fraud and violent gangs of Red Shirts (cousins of the Klan) who sought to enforce one-party rule. This report was made by J. Hendrix McLane, a Republican activist who had run unsuccessfully for governor in 1882. He was apparently writing for the benefit of the national campaign of Republican presidential candidate James Blaine. In full: "South Carolina. The Independents have a good state committee composed of first class men, all of whom in the past have been active Democrats. They mean to hold a state convention very soon to nominate a Blaine & Logan electoral ticket. In many sections of the state, a majority of the best white people are outspoken in their opposition to the Bourbon Party & have fully identified themselves with the Independent movement, and are willing to act as U.S. Deputy Marshals in the effort to secure a fair vote in November next. 204,000 is the total vote of the State: 86,000 white and 118,000 colored. The bourbons claimed only 67,000 in 1882 which will be observed is very little over one fourth of the whole vote of the state, and there is plenty of evidence to show that perhaps 15,000 of the 67,000 then claimed, were fraudulent. The most favorable view for the Democrats that can be honestly claimed is that the opposition to them is double their own number--hence by the proper efforts on the part of the opposition, sustained by the National Republican Committee, the State can be carried for Blaine & Logan. There are 34 counties in the state with about 700 voting precincts, and two U.S. Dept. Marshals & one U.S. Supervisor will be necessary at each voting place. This will take 1,400 marshalls and 700 supervisors who should be commissioned from the ranks of the Independents, as there are very few white Republicans (perhaps not one / 100) in the state, and colored men except in a few instances will not do, as they are unable to cope with the Red Shirt bulldozers. Native white nerve is necessary to meet this emergency."