The following information discusses the problems between the black and white Republicans during Reconstruction.

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While white Republicans were concerned with black de­mands for office, blacks were concerned that whites blocked them from achieving office. Throughout the state, black politi­cal leaders were more assertive than in previous elections. At the district convention of Senator Matthew Gaines's Sixteenth, blacks went so far as to demand an all-Negro slate, since they formed the party's voting strength. DeGress, in an attempt to prevent what appeared to be a destructive move, argued that it would destroy the party's chances in the district. Since the blacks outnumbered the whites, however, the delegates selected a slate composed completely of Negroes. Concerned with the state party's neglect of their situation and their ambitions, blacks at the local level moved to take over the party for themselves.21

In some cases blacks were ready to see what kind of deal they could make with the Democrats. In the Thirteenth Dis­trict the Democrats supported Walter Burton, the Negro sheriff of Fort Bend County, for the state Senate in opposition to a German. The Democrats reasoned that encouraging straight black tickets would work to alienate many white voters from the Republican camp. They also believed that men such as Bur­ton would be easier to control once in office. A correspondent of the Galveston News encouraged the growth of hostility be­tween white and black Republicans in Fort Bend by suggesting that many Democrats believed Sheriff Burton to be far superior to any white nominee that the Republican party might present for election. Although such activity was not widespread, it did occur elsewhere, and indicated the increased difficulties party leaders faced in keeping together their coalition.”  As a result, “the Republicans faced fragmentation of the black-white alliance . . .”[1]

 

 

 



[1] Carl H. Moneyhon, Republicanism in Reconstruction Texas, (Austin, TX:  University of Texas Press, 1980), 179.