Sunday, October 14, 2012

1870 Voting Trouble in Kentucky

As we approach election time I thought I'd post a short article that shows that nasty campaigns, and charges of election fraud, violence, and disfranchisement are nothing new. This short notice was printed in the November 11, 1870 edition of the Lexington Daily Press.

The 1870 election was particularly contentious in Kentucky. It was the first opportunity for African American men to vote since the Fifteenth Amendment was passed (February 1870). Not only was there violence by white Democrats in attempt to keep African American Republicans from casting their votes, but apparently intraracial violence occurred too when those of one's race did not vote as they were expected.

The notice read:
"Robert Harris, colored, who voted the Democratic ticket, and worked at Scott's [hemp] factory, lost his place as hackler, besides was rather roughly handled, and cut by negroes at that factory. This mode of treating those of the colored people who vote their principles is rather a dangerous business and intolerable in a community like ours."

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