The Negro in Congress, 1870-1901

The Negro in Congress, 1870-1901

The Negro in Congress, 1870-1901

The Negro in Congress, 1870-1901


This study is a survey of the careers of all Negroes who served in Congress during the period of 1870-1901 and an attempt to evaluate their achievements. Some few unsuccessful Negro candidates for Congress have been considered important enough to be given consideration.

Documentary research for this study has been augmented by interviews with Negro leaders to obtain their opinions of their political pioneers. Three Negro ex-congressmen were living until recently; one was interviewed in person, the others by letter. All have died since then.

For the reader's convenience, tables have been compiled citing Negro percentages of population in counties and states, number of Negroes in all Congresses of the period, the racial stock of these congressmen, their education, previous professions, and social status before the Civil War.

It should be noticed that no attempt has been made to include the careers of the Negroes who have served in Congress in recent years. That is quite a different story; also, the participants are still active, and it would be impossible to pass final judgment on them.

This study was undertaken at the suggestion of Dr. J. G. de R. Hamilton of The University of North Carolina, and he gave valuable advice and assistance in the research and in the putting together of the material. To my wife, Mabel Dorris Smith, I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness for her encouragement and for her typing of the manuscript.


Columbus, Mississippi 1940 . . .

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