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Monday, June 2, 2008

The Waxahachie White Men's Primary

The White Men's Primary was designed to keep Black folk from voting or making their vote in the general election pretty much useless. This law made primary voting for "whites only." Whites knew the South was made of the one-party states (Democratic then), so they were insured their nominee from the primary would be the victor. It's amazing that it took until 1944 to find the "White Primary" unconstitutional. Some Southern Whites also tried poll taxes and literacy tests to keep minorities from voting.

The below article from the Waxahachie Enterprise shouldn't surprise me because we all know what Ellis County in The Old South thought about Black's voting. At least we know the majority opinion. But the fact in the second article the author explains with excitement how the "White Primary" was successful in disenfranchising the Black man, left me sick to my stomach. Times have definitely changed. The media would be on the exact opposite side of this event today. The media can't ever seem to find the true journalistic position. It mainly goes too far left now a days. Maybe trying to make a mends for it's past atrocities.

Note that candidate J F Strickland became the President of Texas Power and Light and organized The Texas Electric Railway, but he couldn't win Mayor of Waxahachie. Lost by 33 votes. Also note the two articles dated the same day might be different authors because the first story says it was the "quietest election in the history of the city";but, the next story describes the race as "hotly" contested. Unless the author(s) is referring to the fact that the White folk weren't upset because Black folk weren't getting to vote and the race between the White candidates were "hotly" contested?
------------------------WAXAHACHIE ENTERPRISE----------------------
3-24-1899 'The. Primary Election - The Quietest Election in the History of the City Since It Has been an Incorporated Town.
It was mutually agreed by all conservative citizens of this city that the primary last Thursday was the quietest in the history of the town.
At box No. 1, Ed Hawkins was presiding judge but was excused, Jon. F. Wyatt acted as presiding judge, with T. F. Thompson, Jim Morton and George Crow as associate judges; Robt. Beale, Shan Partain, Sara Cawthon and George Crump, clerks.
At Box No. 2, Joe P. Cooper was presiding judge, with P. H. Templeton, L. H. Peters associate judges, and J. L. Deegan, G. W. Coleman, P.T.Crisler, Jon. F. Dunlap and J. J. Metcalfe, clerks.
•At box No. 3, Ed Williams was presiding judge, Sam Fisher, C. J. Harris, W. Schuster and S. T. Barton associate judges, and James 0. Hammett, Sam Hickman, Charles Teutsch, and Jake Mincer,. clerks.

The result by wards is as follows:: . Ward No. 1.
For Mayor - ' J. F. Strickland,67; E.A.DuBose, 25,H. E. Pickett, 82-------
Ward No. 2. For Mayor -. J. F. Strickland,117,.DuBose, 53,-Pickett, 109
' Ward. No. 3-For Mayor., - J. F. Strickland, 69; DuBose, 38; Pickett, 95 •
Mr. Pickett's majority over Mr. Strickland is 33, he having received 286 votes and Mr. Strickland 253. Mr. Pickett, is therefore, the nominee and will be elected on the first Tuesday in April. Mr. S. P. Langsford will succeed Mr. Dowdy as Alderman in Ward No.2. The total vote cast was 66l, only a little more than half the full vote of the city.
3~24~l899 Our Mayoralty Nominee
Waxahachie has just passed through- what is considered the most hotly contested race for mayor that was ever known in the history of the city, and there are circumstances connected with it that make the election one of peculiar interest. Two years ago many of our best citizens began to agitate the question of primary elections for city offices in order to eliminate the negro from city politics. The fruit did not quite ripen then, but this time it did as was evidenced by the fact that a large majority of white voters signed a petition for a white man's primary. The day was set for March 16 and all four candidates, two of whom did not announce until, after the primary call, were before the people. One of these, Mr. Harry E. Pickett, was successful. Every inch of the ground was closely contested and Mr. Pickett came out thirty-three votes ahead of the next highest man. Mr. Pickett is a "native and to the manner born," he was reared in Waxahachie and educated at Marvin College and Vanderbilt University', Nashville, Tennessee. He is not a new man in city or county politics. He has before served the people well as school trustee, alderman and mayor; was postmaster under Cleveland's first administration and last year was candidate for county clerk, receiving a good vote.


Resource is a collection of Waxahachie Enterrprise articles on business man J F Strickland in Sims Library, Waxahachie, Texas.

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