Monday, September 10, 2012

Voter Disenfranchisement Mississippi-style

Mississippi elections had always been violent as whites tried to prevent blacks from voting, and many courageous blacks and whites who opposed Democratic rule were murdered. To end this violence, a compromise was reached between the planters and their challengers. Blacks would be constitutionally disfranchised and corruption and violence at the polls would stop. A constitutional convention was called to theoretically legally disfranchise all illiterate voters. But everyone knew the real purpose. James Kimble Vardaman, later Governor of the state, boasted of the obvious purpose of the convention. "There is no use to equivocate or lie about the matter. Mississippi's constitutional convention was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the nigger from politics; not the ignorant -- but the nigger." 
James Kimble Vardaman:  "There is no use to equivocate or lie about the matter. Mississippi's constitutional convention was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the nigger from politics; not the ignorant -- but the nigger.

Whites warned blacks not to interfere in the change. Marsh Cook, a white Republican in Jasper County, courageously challenged the Democrats for a seat to the Constitutional Convention in spite of death threats. Cook was ambushed and murdered on a lonely country road -- one of the first whites to be killed after Reconstruction for advocating the black vote, according to his great-great-granddaughter Kitty Cook Hoyt. Isaiah Montgomery, founder of Mound Bayou and the only African American delegate to the convention, had been invited because he was willing to support disfranchisement. Blacks were outraged at Montgomery's speech. They called Montgomery a "traitor" and "Judas" for not challenging disfranchisement. The delegates rewrote the constitution. It required all voters to take a literacy test if they tried to vote.

"On and after the first day of January, A. D. 1892, every elector shall, in addition to the foregoing qualifications, be able to read any section of the constitution of this state; or he shall be able to understand the same when read to him, or give a reasonable interpretation thereof." Power was given to registrars to interpret the test. Since all registrars were white and politically appointed, it was highly unlikely they would allow any black to pass the test on his own merits. The Supreme Court chose to disregard the fact that the new law was aimed at disfranchising blacks. "Besides, the operation of the constitution and laws is not limited by their language or effects to one race. They reach weak and vicious white men as well as weak and vicious black men, and whatever is sinister in their intention, if anything, can be prevented by both races by the exertion of that duty which voluntarily pays taxes and refrains from crime." Once the court gave the Mississippi constitution its blessing, other states adopted the same means to disfranchise blacks.  (source: PBS)


  1. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this piece
    of writing i thought i could also create comment due to this good post.

    Also visit my web site :: Visit Website

  2. Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This sort of clever
    work and coverage! Keep up the superb works guys I've included you guys to blogroll.

    Here is my web site - Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

  3. I must thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now ;)

    Here is my page :: Next page

  4. Hi to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and your views are good in support of new visitors.

    Feel free to visit my website: Borse Gucci Ufficiale

  5. Hi there mates, how is the whole thing,
    and what you desire to say regarding this post, in my view
    its really amazing designed for me.

    Feel free to visit my web blog

  6. It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i'll settle for bookmarking
    and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    My webpage Louis Vuitton Outlet

  7. Hi it's me, I am also visiting this web site on a regular basis, this web page is actually nice and the viewers are in fact sharing good thoughts.

    my website ... Michael Kors Canada

  8. I visited multiple web pages however the audio
    quality for audio songs current at this web site
    is really marvelous.

    Look into my blog :: Abercrombie & Fitch

  9. Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your web site accidentally,
    and I'm shocked why this twist of fate didn't happened earlier!
    I bookmarked it.

    my blog post

  10. This is very attention-grabbing, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and stay up
    for searching for extra of your great post. Additionally, I've shared your site in my social networks

    Here is my weblog: Chaussures De Football

  11. I'm really loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A couple of my blog readers have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

    Feel free to visit my website Air Max One

  12. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I
    quite enjoyed reading it, you're a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later on. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great posts, have a nice holiday weekend!

    my web-site; Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

  13. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on.
    You have done a extraordinary job!

    Review my blog post ... Nike Air Max

  14. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web
    address and thought I may as well check things out.

    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web
    page repeatedly.

    Feel free to surf to my web site :: Discover More

  15. Howdy! I realize this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.

    Does running a well-established website like yours take a lot of work?
    I'm brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal on a daily basis. I'd like to start a blog so I
    can easily share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand
    new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

    Also visit my blog; Recommended Reading

  16. You actually make it seem so easy along with your presentation however
    I in finding this topic to be really one thing that I believe I would by no
    means understand. It sort of feels too complex and very vast
    for me. I'm having a look ahead for your next submit, I'll attempt to get the hold
    of it!

    My blog - Continued

  17. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with
    Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm
    not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share.


    My site Bonuses

  18. Hi, this weekend is pleasant designed for me, since this occasion i am reading this fantastic informative article here at my house.

    Also visit my website ... Christian Louboutin Outlet ()

  19. Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    Feel free to visit my blog; Oakley Sunglasses

  20. Superb blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I'm planning to start my own site soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform
    like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices
    out there that I'm completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Thank you!

    Feel free to visit my site ... Abercrombie Paris

  21. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate
    you taking the time and energy to put this informative article
    together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of
    time both reading and leaving comments. But so what,
    it was still worth it!

    Look into my web blog :: Gafas De Sol Oakley

  22. Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological globe
    everything is accessible on web?

    Also visit my web blog :: Bonuses

  23. I have been browsing online greater than three hours today, yet
    I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content as you did,
    the internet might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

    my web blog :: Air Max

  24. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

    Feel free to surf to my blog - Michael Kors **

  25. I'm now not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend a while studying more or working out more. Thank you for magnificent info I was in search of this info for my mission.

    Check out my page: Nike Blazers Men

  26. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have be mindful your stuff prior
    to and you are just extremely great. I really like what you've bought right here, really like what you're
    stating and the way during which you say it. You are making it entertaining
    and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read
    much more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

    my web site :: Cheap Air Max

  27. You're so cool! I do not believe I have read anything like that before. So great to find somebody with unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that's needed on the web, someone
    with a little originality!

    Here is my weblog ... Cheap Jerseys

  28. It's amazing for me to have a web page, which is useful for my knowledge. thanks admin

    Have a look at my web-site: Nike Blazers High



Click here to return to the US Slave Home Page