The Tillman Movement in South Carolina

By Francis Butler Simkins | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER V
THE ELECTION OF 1890

As there was little chance of influencing further the hold-over legislature of 1889, the executive committee of the Farmers' Association resolved not to hold a meeting in the fall of that year. Instead, a convention of the farmers and their supporters was called to meet after the adjournment of the legislature for the purpose of effecting plans through which the conventions and elections scheduled for the summer and fall of 1890 might be captured. Tillman, with the aid of G. W. Shell1 and John L. M. Irby,2 two sagacious and popular leaders of Laurens County, prepared an address and program for this convention. He was induced to abandon his pledge not to become a candidate for public office, in order that he might be presented to the convention as a suitable candi

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1
Shell's popularity was based on the fact that he was genial and capable, that he had served as a Confederate soldier, had been suspected of being involved in the killing of Crews, a political renegade, and had long served as clerk of court of Laurens County.
2
Irby's prestige rested on the fact that he came from a good family and was possessed of an attractive and over-mastering personality.

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