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Cover Art
Author Barnes, Kenneth C., 1956-

Title Who killed John Clayton? : political violence and the emergence of the new South, 1861-1893 / Kenneth C. Barnes.

Published Durham : Duke University Press, 1998.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  976.7051 BARN    AVAILABLE
Physical description xii, 203 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [181]-194) and index.
Contents 1. Local Divisions and Lasting Grudges: Civil War and Reconstruction -- 2. Motives for Murder: Democrats and Republicans Compete for Power, 1872-1888 -- 3. Murder and Fraud: How Democrats Reclaimed Conway County, 1888-1889 -- 4. Consequences of Murder: Things Fall Apart, 1890-1893 -- 5. Murder's Reward: Rule of the Fine-Haired Gentlemen.
Summary In 1888 a group of armed and masked Democrats stole a ballot box from a small town in Conway County, Arkansas. The box contained most of the county's black Republican votes, thereby assuring defeat for candidate John Clayton in a close race for the U.S. Congress. Days after he announced he would contest the election, a volley of buckshot ripped through Clayton's hotel window, killing him instantly. Thus began a yet-to-be-solved, century-old mystery.
More than a description of this particular event, however, Who Killed John Clayton? traces patterns of political violence in this section of the South over a three-decade period. Using vivid courtroom-type detail, Barnes describes how violence was used to define and control the political system in the post-Reconstruction South and how this system in turn produced Jim Crow. Although white Unionists and freed blacks had joined under the banner of the Republican Party and gained the upper hand during Reconstruction, during these last decades of the nineteenth century conservative elites, first organized as the Ku Klux Klan and then as the revived Democratic Party, regained power -- via such tactics as murdering political opponents, lynching blacks, and defrauding elections.
This important recounting of the struggle over political power will engage those interested in Southern and American history.
Subject Clayton, John M., 1840-1889 -- Assassination.
Political violence -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century.
Political parties -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century.
Racism -- Political aspects -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century.
Southern States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
ISBN 0822320584 (acid-free paper)
082232072X (paperback: acid-free paper)