Memphis Daily Appeal clipping

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He Rebukes Slanderous Enemies and Appeals to the Record – Why He Voted For Negro Senators in 1875 – A Plucky Declaration.

Special Dispatch to The Appeal.

JACKSON, MISS., May 29. A statement, intended, doubtless, to the detriment of the candidacy of the Hon. R. H. Taylor for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Mississippi by the approaching State Convention, that he voted for B. K. Bruce and Isham Stewart for United States Senators, while a member of the State Senate, has called from him the following letter, which will appear in the Clarion-Ledger tomorrow:

To the Editor of the Clarion-Ledger:

It ought to be with great hesitation that a man consents to enter the lists as a competitor for the prize offered to the victor in political contests. Misrepresentation, calumny and slander are among the usual and ordinary methods of conducting a canvass.


Among other things of lesser note, it is being industriously circulated, to my detriment, that I once voted for two negroes for the United States Senate. The parties who seek to circulate this to my injury carefully refrain from telling all the facts and showing the circumstances and conditions surrounding us at that time, or from stating that other trusted Democrats voted for negroes in joint session of the Legislature, and the reasons therefor. They fail to do me justice because they wish to make that which was the crowning act of our self sacrifice a reproach upon my good name.

The facts are about as follows: I had just been elected State Senator from Panola in opposition to the Republican nominee. I found in the Senate the Hon. Ira G. Holloway, now of Oxford, then also representing a district with a black majority, and we were the only Democrats in the Senate representing constituencies where the negro vote preponderated. The small number of Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives were in such minority as to leave no earthly hope of electing any official for which the Legislature balloted.

Under these circumstances, and with the vain hope of cultivating friendly relations between the races, Senator Holloway and I were earnestly requested by some of our white Democratic friends to vote for negroes for the Senate. This we saw we could do without in the least affecting the Democratic party. Neither Mr. Lamar, nor any other Democrat, was a candidate for the Senate, or even for the empty honor of being the party nominee for that high station. Our Democratic friends from counties with black majorities thought it might have a good effect for us to cast our votes in this way, and we ourselves were anxious to express our contempt for the carpet-bagger and scalawag and our preference for the negro over him.

An examination of the Senate Journal of 1874, page 97, will show that that true and tried Democrat, the Hon. R. H. Allen, placed in nomination one of these negroes and voted for him, as I did. The Hon. Ira C. Holloway, as devoted and true a Democrat as lives, voted for Bruce and Mygatt, and Senator Smythe, of Winston, voted twice for Stewart. If the hypocritical patriots, who now censure us, will examine the Senate Journal of 1874, a little further, on page 87, they will learn that nearly every Democratic member of the Senate and House voted for Carter, Revels & Co., a firm of negroes, for the responsible and lucrative position of State Printer. We were simply trying to hammer the Republicans with their own weapons. The object which Holloway, myself and others had was as well understood by all our colleagues as any other act of ours, and no whisper of the slightest suspicion of want of party fealty was ever heard.





Memphis Daily Appeal, “Memphis Daily Appeal clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed November 30, 2023,

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