Newcomb and the Divisions of the Republican Party in the late 19th Century



The following are excerpts[1] from various newspaper articles discussing James Newcomb.  These are all dealing with Newcomb after the era of Reconstruction.  In addition to reading the articles for their content, focus on the words that are used, how they are used, and the intent behind the words.  Is this the same Newcomb that worked with the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction?  Are the articles for or against Newcomb?


1.  Houston Post, Oct. 1885, “Criticism of a Republican”

That James P. Newcomb “… is a Republican in politics, is wide of the mark …”  “ … he has made himself particularly obnoxious to the better elements among Texas people …”  Others “ … have not been mean enough to abuse, traduce and slander the people among whom they live …”


2.  The Galveston Daily News, Thursday, Oct. 24, 1884, “What Newcomb Thinks”

“For over twenty years the south has been in political turmoil growing out of the Negro question, and if anything we are further from a satisfactory solution than in 1865.”

“… the Negro troubles …” are resulting in “… the great masses of colored people occupying the land and shutting out white immigration.”  He implies that decent white people do not want to come to Texas because of the Negro troubles that exist within the state.  The Negro, he continues “… has a right to remain in the south …” where “… he should be in harmony with the environment.”

“There is but one way open to Republican success, and that is that the white republican come forward and take charge of party management.”  It is Newcomb’s opinion that the “… colored man after twenty years of citizenship … has proved his inability to take care of himself politically …” and that the “… colored voter must learn to take care of himself.  If he insists upon controlling and dominating the party he must take the consequences.”

“… the white man must carry the party banner.”


3.  Times, New York, March 11, 1892

“Mr. Newcomb is much disappointed with the action of the Austin Convention, which he claims was controlled by the Negro element.”


4.  St. Louis Republic, June 9, 1892

Newcomb is being discussed as the head of the “Lily Whites” party in Texas.  He is “… a candidate for Lieutenant Governor on the white ticket of Texas and a delegate to the National Convention from the twelfth district …”

Newcomb is advocating that the white people vote over the “colored bosses.”



[1] James Pearson Newcomb, Sr., Papers, 1835-1941, Box 2F110, Center for American History, The University of Texas as Austin.