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Tue, 11.19.1867

Black Votes Influence South Carolina Politics After The American Civil War

S.C. legislature, 1868

On this date in 1867, emancipated Blacks began influencing South Carolina politics.  During the Reconstruction era, black citizens of the state endorsed their constitutional convention and selected state delegates.

After the November elections, 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 on rewriting the state constitution and passing laws ensuring aid to public education, universal male franchise, and civil rights for all.  Similar advancements throughout America accompanied this.

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The sale began-young girls were there, Defenseless in their wretchedness, Whose stifled sobs of deep despair Revealed their anguish and distress. And Mothers stood with streaming eyes, And saw their dearest children... THE SLAVE AUCTION by Frances E. W. Harper.
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