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S.C. legislature, 1868
On this date in 1867, emancipated Blacks began influencing South Carolina politics, when citizens of the state endorsed their constitutional convention and selected state delegates.
Records show that 66,418 Blacks and 2,350 whites voted for the convention and 2,278 whites voted against holding a convention, for a total vote cast of 71,046. Not a single Black voted against the convention. Because Blacks in South Carolina vastly outnumbered whites, over time the newly enfranchised voters were able to send so many Black representatives to the state assembly that they outnumbered the whites.
Many were able legislators who worked to rewrite the state constitution and pass laws ensuring aid to public education, universal male franchise, and civil rights for all.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, Twenty-fourth Edition.
Copyright 1996 Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.