African Americans had never been elected to Congress in high enough numbers to influence legislation, and their increased isolation in the Jim Crow Era further eroded their ability to reach their legislative goals. They were often denied the opportunity to speak on the floor of the House; their prepared remarks were relegated to the Congressional Record Appendix, which contained speeches for which no time was allotted during scheduled debate. Yet all five black Representatives from this era attempted to defend the diminishing rights of their black constituencies. They considered themselves "surrogate" Representatives for the entire U.S. black population.55 The only African American in Congress from 1897 to 1901, George White once said on the floor, “I am easily the leader of one thing, and that is the black phalanx on this floor. I have no rival and will not be disturbed in that leadership.”56
African-American Members’ committee assignments of this era also reflected their relative lack of power. Henry Cheatham and George White served on the prestigious Agriculture Committee, a powerful committee for southern Members who came from districts where the harvest scheduled still dictated the economy. But neither achieved the seniority required to set the committee’s priorities.57 Four of the African-American Members during this period served on the Education Committee.
Monetary, Economic, and Foreign Policy Issues
With limited avenues to power, African-American Members had few options other than to weigh in on the largely commercial legislation that dominated Congress throughout the late 19th century. The five black Members who served during the 1890s joined debates on the coinage of silver and imperialism, typically voting according to sectional or partisan loyalties. They adjusted their legislative strategies to meet the new focus on economic and foreign policy concerns and wove these contemporary issues into a dialogue about the continuing deterioration of civil rights in the South.
When an economic panic gripped the agrarian United States in the late 1880s, rural Members of Congress called on the federal government to inject silver currency into America’s monetary system. Since silver was worth less than gold—long the foundation of the country’s Treasury—silver would incite inflation and raise commodity prices, creating an economic boon for the agricultural economy. Joined by western Members—whose states provided much of the country’s silver—rural southern Representatives of both parties also supported the circulation of silver coin in order to weather the boom-and-bust economy. GOP leaders, centered in the industrial northeast and the Midwest, however, typically upheld the gold standard to create a more stable economy. The issue divided Members by region and party, and whether they represented constituencies living in the country or the city.58
Representing primarily rural districts, African-American Members favored the coinage of silver. Concerned about the failing economy in his North Carolina district, Henry Cheatham broke from the Republican Party and joined with the entire North Carolina delegation in supporting the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1890. The law required the federal government to mint 4.5 million ounces of silver bullion each month in exchange for legal tender. Cheatham was one of only eight Republicans in the House to defect; the bill failed, 154 to 136.59 In 1892 George Murray campaigned in support of the free coinage of silver but he turned his defense of silver into a defense of civil rights, relating the prejudice against silver coinage to the prejudice against African Americans. “I sincerely trust that the lovers of white metal will hereafter have more sympathy,” Murray said, “for human beings . . . suffering and dying under the fell blows of hateful prejudice and discrimination.”60
In the 1880s and the 1890s, U.S. officials turned their focus to acquiring overseas possessions. Industrialists and powerful business interests hoped to exploit the wealth of natural resources abroad by acquiring new American colonies. Advocates of a strong American sea power wished to guard the “New World” from Europeans, following the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which stipulated that the United States had compelling reasons to protect the Western Hemisphere from foreign encroachments. America’s acquisition of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines in the late 1890s involved not just the absorption of new land but the absorption of millions of new residents in these countries, renewing discussions on race in Congress. The common approach by imperialists to the “white man’s burden” in these new colonies often echoed those of southern segregationists: They believed white people were inherently superior to non-white colonized peoples and sought to limit their political participation.61 It was certainly the case that Americans projected their attitudes about race onto the imperial conquests of the era—providing both rhetoric and rationale for empire-building. But American efforts to colonize distant islands also strengthened racist views at home, both in the North and the South.62
Serving during the high tide of U.S. colonial expansion in the 56th and 57th Congresses (1897–1901), George White—the lone African American in Congress—supported U.S. imperialist ambitions, but he also expressed concern about the treatment of colonized populations. He endorsed the Spanish-American War and voted to annex Cuba and the Philippines, but he purposely avoided a vote on the annexation of Hawaii to protest the treatment of Native Hawaiians and later submitted (unsuccessful) legislation for their protection.
White’s contradictory approach to imperialism—supporting the land grab, opposing the subjugation of native peoples, questioning whether those same people belonged—demonstrated the difficulty of balancing his persistent pleas for black civil rights at home with America’s imperialist goals abroad. In the end, White seemed to prioritize guaranteeing domestic civil liberties and solving America’s inequalities—outlawing lynching, especially—over expansion. “Recognize your citizens at home, recognize those at your door, give them the encouragement, give them rights that they are justly entitled to, and then take hold of the people of Cuba and establish a stable and fixed government there that wisdom predicated, which justice may dictate,” White told his House colleagues. “Take hold of the Philippine Islands, take hold of the Hawaiian Islands, there let the Christian civilization go out and magnify and make happy those poor, half-civilized people; and then the black man, the white man—yes, all the riff-raff of the earth that are coming to our shores—will rejoice with you in that we have done God’s service and done that which will elevate us in the eyes of the world.”63
Federal Elections Bill
When Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland won the presidential campaign in 1884, the Republican Party lost control of the White House for the first time since 1860. GOP reformers quickly blamed the disenfranchisement of black (and mostly Republican) voters in the South for the devastating electoral loss. Republican Senators William Chandler of New Hampshire and John Sherman of Ohio—both staunch reformers with GOP careers predating the Civil War—led an attempt to roll back disenfranchisement. Years before he entered the Senate in 1887, Chandler amassed evidence of election fraud in the South in order to prod the Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, and Chester A. Arthur administrations to protect black voting rights. One African-American correspondent called him “the greatest man in the United States.”64 In January 1889, Sherman introduced a bill to enact federal control over national elections, but since Republicans held a slim two-seat majority in the Senate and since Democrats controlled the House, the bill went nowhere in the 50th Congress (1887–1889). Nevertheless, Chandler and Sherman captured the attention of other Republicans at the time who began to realize the political expedience of reasserting federal election law in the South.
In 1888 Republican presidential candidate Benjamin Harrison added election reform to his campaign platform. Born in Ohio and hailing from Indiana, Harrison was a Civil War veteran who had declared in 1876 that the U.S. government had “an obligation solemn as a covenant with God to save [freedmen] from the dastardly outrages that their rebel masters are committing upon them in the South.” During his campaign, he refused to “purchase the Presidency by a compact of silence” regarding black voting rights in the South.65 Harrison won the presidency and the Republican Party, riding his coattails, gained a majority in both houses of Congress for the first time in eight years. Led by the influential Massachusetts duo of Representative Henry Cabot Lodge and Senator George Hoar, the GOP made one last attempt in the 51st Congress to reinforce the Fifteenth Amendment and combat disenfranchisement in the South.
When George Hoar served in the House during the 1870s he had been a leading GOP Member and an ally to Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, the abolitionist-turned-freedmen’s advocate during the Reconstruction Era. When Sumner died in 1874, part of his civil rights mantle passed to Hoar, who went on to win election to the Senate in 1877.
Like he had earlier done for Sumner, Hoar carried the torch for Chandler when the New Hampshire Senator fell ill just before the opening of the 51st Congress in 1889. Hoar drafted a new bill to place national elections under federal control but Representative Lodge soon convinced Hoar that since the bill most directly affected House elections—which were held every two years—the legislation should originate there. A Boston native of Puritan stock, Lodge earned one of the first history Ph.D. degrees awarded by Harvard University. Described as a “self-righteous humanitarian,” he was abrasive and blunt with friends and enemies alike.66 Unlike Hoar, who died in 1904, Lodge enjoyed a long and storied career in the Republican Party well into the 20th century. In 1893 he moved to the Senate, where he remained for more than 30 years, chairing five committees, leading the Republican Conference, and becoming a spokesman for the party's foreign policy agenda.
Lodge submitted the federal elections bill to the House on June 14, 1890. The legislation was a conglomerate of several measures, including Hoar’s and those of other House and Senate Members. Exceeding 70 pages, the bill allowed a small number of constituents in any given precinct to petition a federal judge to take charge of a federal election rather than leaving the process in the hands of local—and, in the South, usually Democratic—officials. The federal government also would appoint supervisors to oversee all phases of federal elections, from voter registration to the certification of the results. The bill reaffirmed the President’s prerogative to send federal troops to monitor violent or chaotic elections.
On June 26, Lodge opened the debate to support the bill with what one historian called a “racial sermon.”67 “The first step . . . toward the settlement of the negro problem and toward the elevation and protection of the race is to take it out of national party politics,” Lodge asserted. “This can be done in but one way. The United States must extend to every citizen equal rights.” Addressing the tendency of southern Congressmen to call forth the specter of “negro domination,” he continued, “This bitter appeal to race supremacy, which is always ringing in our ears, is made a convenient stalking horse to defraud white men as well as black men their rights. It is an evil which must be dealt with, and if we fail to deal with it we shall suffer for our failure.”68 Opponents in the South soon labeled the federal elections bill the “Force Bill” and likened it to federal policy during Reconstruction Era. “If you could only realize as we do how this measure is destined to retard our progress, destroy confidence, impair development, engender strife, revive bitterness, relegate us to the dark and deplorable conditions of reconstruction, and produce only evil,” Representative Samuel Lanham of Texas declared.69
The federal elections bill barely passed the House on July 2, 1890, 155 to 149. It then languished and died in the Senate, where the debate over the sagging economy and questions about moving off the gold standard filled the calendar. Western Republicans dismissed the elections bill, hoping the coinage of silver—a policy beneficial to their mining states—would come before the Senate first. But when the Senate took up the federal elections bill, angry Silver Republicans joined Democrats in a week-long filibuster that defeated the legislation in February 1891. Most notably, Nevada Senator William Stewart—a principal architect of the Fifteenth Amendment and the floor manager during debate on the Ku Klux Klan bills—joined the filibuster.
In many ways, the GOP reformers’ efforts to pass the federal elections bill paralleled those of the earlier Radical Republicans who steered the 1875 Civil Rights Act through Congress. Both pieces of legislation had been carefully designed to accommodate competing factions of the Republican Party. Both bills had electoral consequences and coincided with GOP losses in midterm elections. As in the 1874 elections, the Republican Party was devastated in 1890: in the House, the 17-seat majority in the 51st Congress gave way to a whopping 152-seat deficit in the 52nd Congress (1891–1893). Though Senate Republicans maintained their majority, they lost four seats.
Several other obstacles doomed the passage of the federal elections bill. Foremost, it landed low on the congressional priority list. Republican leaders in both chambers dispensed with economic and commercial legislation before considering the elections bill. Congress spent half of 1890 debating the McKinley Tariff—which raised duties on imports almost 50 percent to protect domestic agricultural and industrial products—before taking up the federal elections bill. Once debate commenced on Lodge’s legislation, few Members put a human face on it, despite ample evidence of black suffering in the South. Lodge was one of the few supporters of the bill who emphasized African-American rights. In contrast to the debate on the Civil Rights Act, which was permeated by talk of “equality” and “humanity,” debate on the federal elections bill emphasized the need to defend “republicanism”—abstractly defined as the “right to vote.”70
Finally, in contrast to the firsthand testimony of African-American Members during the Civil Rights Act debate in 1874 and 1875, black Representatives had very little input on the 1890 federal elections bill. Henry Cheatham, the only African-American Member serving in the House while that chamber considered the bill, never gave a speech on the topic. Thomas Miller and John Langston, who joined Cheatham in the next session after winning their contested election cases, could only encourage Senate consideration of the bill. “It does not matter how black we are; it does not matter how ignorant we are; it does not matter what our race may be,” Langston declared in January 1891. “The question presented here today under our amended Constitution . . . is shall every freeman, shall every American citizen, shall every American elector . . . be permitted to wield a free ballot?”71
Miller noted that the right to vote could only be possible if African Americans across the South first had the right to exist. His constituents lacked basic necessities and had to fight to simply live and breathe back home. “Ah, gentlemen,” he lamented, “what we need in this land is not so many [political] offices. Offices are only emblems of what we need and what we ought to have. We need protection at home in our rights, the chiefest of which is the right to live.”72
Early Congressional Anti-Lynching Campaign
As the lone black Member at the dawn of the 20th century, Representative George White defended that “right to live” in his campaign to stop lynching in America. Lynching was brutal the act of public execution by hanging or shooting, often proceeded by torture. They occurred without legal due process and, in the American South, were used by white citizens to terrorize black citizens. Lynchings were often carried out by groups of white vigilantes called lynch mobs. The makeup of lynch mobs cut across all segments of southern white society: some lynch mobs were small, while others numbered in the hundreds; some were made up of criminals and thugs, while others counted leading citizens and favorite sons as members. Lynch mobs never faced legal accountability for their acts of murder.
Occasionally, lynchings became grotesque public spectacles, attended by throngs of onlookers. In the decades after the Civil War, black men, women, and children were lynched, but a disproportionate number of the victims were black men. Particularly in the South, lynching victims were falsely accused of murder, rape, and other sexual offenses against white women (even though the vast majority of victims already under arrest were not charged with any crime of sexual violence).73 The actual number of lynchings in America might never be known, but a recent study by the Equal Justice Initiative, which spent years documenting cases, identified “4,084 racial terror lynchings in twelve Southern states between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and 1950.”74
Representative White called for an end to the barbarism of lynching in the South on January 20, 1900, when he introduced H.R. 6963, the first federal anti-lynching bill “for the protection of all citizens of the United States against mob violence.”75 A month later, during general debate on American territorial expansion in the Caribbean and Pacific, White defended his bill on the House Floor. He provided graphic accounts of lynching atrocities and gave a stern rebuttal to derogatory comments made on the House and Senate floors against African Americans. White noted that his goal in seeking to require lynching cases to be tried in federal courts was “that the National Government may have jurisdiction over this species of crime.” Conditions in the South were such that they provoked serious questions not only about regional race relations but also about national and international policy. “Should not a nation be just to all her citizens, protect them alike in all their rights, on every foot of her soil,” White asked? “In a word, show herself capable of governing all within her domain before she undertakes to exercise sovereign authority over those of a foreign land—with foreign notions and habits not at all in harmony with our American system of government? Or, to be more explicit, should not charity first begin at home?”76
The legislation garnered no support from the William McKinley administration and stirred little enthusiasm in the House. The American public, willingly oblivious of the magnitude of the lynching problem, received the bill with ambivalence. White’s bill died in the Judiciary Committee at the close of the 56th Congress in 1901.
In addition to campaigning for anti-lynching legislation, George White challenged the House to punish southern states for disenfranchising blacks by calling for a reduction in their congressional delegations. White’s appeal in 1899 that southern delegations to Congress ought to be limited to “the benefit of the votes that are allowed to be cast in their representation” initially fell on unsympathetic ears. “It is a question that this House must deal with some time, sooner or later,” he said.77 Derived from Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment, reduction legislation required Congress to penalize states that sought to disqualify eligible voters by subtracting the number of disenfranchised voters from the population count used to determine the number of seats each state was allotted in the House. At the high tide of Radical Republican rule in the House, the chamber passed a measure after the 1870 Census that required Congress to enforce that provision. Section 6 of the Apportionment Act of February 2, 1872, mandated that if any state denied or abridged the voting rights of eligible male inhabitants over the age of 21, “the number of Representatives apportioned in this act to such State shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of male citizens shall have to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.”78
The 1900 Census and the resultant reapportionment of U.S. House seats presented White’s supporters with a chance to resurrect the issue of reduction. In 1901 Congress took up its prescribed role of reapportioning House seats based on the states’ population gains or declines recorded in the Census.79 Among several bills addressing the process, a measure introduced by Edgar Dean Crumpacker of Indiana received the most attention. The legislation sought to penalize Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina, which had approved state constitutions disenfranchising African Americans. A former appellate judge and a prosecuting attorney from Valparaiso, Indiana, Crumpacker was first elected as a Republican in 1896. He first raised the issue of reduction in the late 1890s as a member of the Select Committee on the Census. In that capacity he introduced H.R. 11982, requiring the director of the Census to collect information on state suffrage laws relating to voter qualifications and to tabulate for each state the number of males over the voting age of 21. Armed with this information, Crumpacker hoped to enforce the reduction clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The committee reported the bill favorably to the House on the final day of the 55th Congress (1897– 1899) when it was too late to take action.80 This failed attempt to obtain a House vote on reduction would be the first of many.
On January 7, 1901, Representative Crumpacker delivered a lengthy floor speech emphasizing Congress’s obligation to uphold the Fourteenth Amendment. He urged his colleagues not to let their “coercive power” be “abrogated by passive nullification” of the Constitution. Crumpacker, countering southern claims that the Fifteenth Amendment superseded the Fourteenth, declared both Amendments were complementary, “active and operative.” “No state may disenfranchise citizens on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, but they may disenfranchise on any other account,” he said, taking note of state constitutional provisions for poll taxes and literacy tests. “But, sir, if they restrict the right of suffrage of male citizens 21 years of age by raising the age limit, by educational laws, by property qualifications, or by any other method within their constitutional authority, except for crime, the basis of representation [of those states in Congress] must be reduced accordingly.”
Crumpacker’s vision for reform, however, was rooted in ideas about race that permeated American politics and society. To avoid a protracted struggle with southern Members over voting statistics, he proposed to reduce representation based on illiteracy rates for both whites and blacks, assuming that people who could not read would fail education tests that accompanied disenfranchisement plans.81 In doing so, Crumpacker expressed seemingly incompatible viewpoints for understanding voting rights and disenfranchisement. “No one questions the superiority of the white race, but that superiority is grounded in the rugged virtues of justice and humanity,” Crumpacker told colleagues. In a sense, his plan to punish states that disenfranchised black voters was as much about teaching recalcitrant southern whites a lesson as it was about elevating the status of southern blacks, whom he described as being “in the childhood of civilization . . . [in] want of manly virtues.” He continued, “It is surely no credit to American manhood to bind and shackle a helpless race to avoid the temporary embarrassments that would attend its proper development.”82
Despite these discriminatory statements, Crumpacker’s effort to enhance black voting rights in the South was significant for the period. Representative George White praised Crumpacker as an ally “who has taken occasion to stand up in his place as a man, and has said a word in defense” of African Americans.83 The House, which eventually voted to expand its membership based on nationwide population gains, devoted considerable attention to Crumpacker's plan before voting—136 to 94—to end further consideration.84
The reduction debate flared again in early 1902, after Charles Dick of Ohio proposed to instruct the House Rules Committee to investigate the relationship between the congressional representation of states that disenfranchised black voters and the voting totals for those states’ congressional elections.85 Southerners responded venomously. Thomas Spight of Mississippi, a Confederate veteran turned newspaper publisher, baldly declared that the “leading purpose [of disenfranchisement policies] was to eliminate the negro from the political equation.” He added that the South would rather have no congressional representation than to “return again to the state of affairs existing in the reconstruction period” when African Americans exercised their right to vote.86
Despite southern protests, the Republican-dominated House Rules Committee supported the Dick proposal in a party line vote in March 1902. But in an echo of what happened in 1890 with the federal elections bill, Democrats, led by Representative Oscar Underwood of Alabama, who had just spearheaded his state’s 1901 constitutional convention that disenfranchised virtually every black resident, successfully sabotaged Dick’s investigation by exploiting a Republican division on a tariff issue. Underwood delivered Democratic votes to help Midwestern Republicans keep tariff rates high to protect their districts’ economies in exchange for their promise to vote down the Rules Committee investigation after it came to the floor.87
55For a discussion of surrogate representation using modern examples, see Jane Mansbridge, “Should Blacks Represent Blacks and Women Represent Women? A Contingent ‘Yes,’ ” Journal of Politics 61 (1999): 628–657.
56Congressional Record, House, 55th Cong., 2nd sess. (22 April 1898): 4194.
57Charles Stewart III, “Committee Hierarchies in the Modernizing House, 1875–1947,” American Journal of Political Science 36 (1992): 845–846. Cheatham was ranked fifth out of six minority members of the Agriculture Committee in the 52nd Congress (1891–1893); White was ranked last out of 11 majority members on the Agriculture Committee in the 55th Congress (1897–1899).
58For a thorough discussion of U.S. monetary policy in the late 19th century, see Irwin Unger, The Greenback Era: A Social and Political History of American Finance, 1865–1880 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964); Alan Weinstein, Prelude to Populism: Origins of the Silver Issue, 1867–1878 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1970); Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963).
59Congressional Record, House, 52nd Cong., 1st sess. (13 July 1892): 6133. The rest of the Republicans voting in favor of the bill were from silver-mining states.
60Congressional Record, House, 53rd Cong., 1st sess. (24 August 1893): 859.
61Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow: 72–74.
62Some scholars suggest that racism at home cooled enthusiasm for imperialism abroad. One historian argues that segregationists often opposed imperialists because they were unwilling to incorporate foreign, racially, and ethnically diverse citizens. See Eric T. Love, Race Over Empire: Racism and U.S. Imperialism, 1865–1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
63Congressional Record, House, 55th Cong., 3rd sess. (26 January 1899): 1126.
64Quoted in Upchurch, Legislating Racism: 85–86.
65Charles W. Calhoun, Benjamin Harrison (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2005): 33, 55.
66Upchurch, Legislating Racism: 94.
68Congressional Record, House, 51st Cong., 1st sess. (26 June 1890): 6544.
69Congressional Record, House, 51st Cong., 1st sess. (28 June 1890): 6728.
70Calhoun, Conceiving a New Republic: 242–243.
71Congressional Record, House, 51st Cong., 2nd sess. (16 January 1891): 1480–1481.
72Congressional Record, House, 51st Cong., 2nd sess. (12 January 1891): 1216.
73See W. Fitzhugh Brundage, ed., Under Sentence of Death: Lynching in the South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997); see also Brundage’s Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993). For a contemporary study of lynching during the first half of the 20th century, see NAACP secretary Walter White’s, Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lynch (1929; repr., Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2001).
74Equal Justice Initiative, “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror,” 3rd ed., 2017, accessed 22 August 2018, https://lynchinginamerica.eji.org/report/. For an earlier accounting of lynchings, see Susan Carter et al., eds., Historical Statistics of the United States: Government and International Relations 5 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006): 252–255. See also Stewart Tolnay and E. M. Beck, A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995).
75Congressional Record, House, 56th Cong., 1st sess. (20 January 1900): 1021. A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a series of hearings on antilynching legislation in 1948. The transcript includes a list of anti-lynching bills introduced between 1865 and 1947, compiled by the Legislative Reference Service, the precursor to the Congressional Research Service. Hearings before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee No. 4, Antilynching, 80th Cong., 2nd sess. (4 February 1948): 185–188.
76Congressional Record, House, 56th Cong., 1st sess. (23 February 1900): 2151–2154; quotations on pages 2153, 2151.
77Congressional Record, House, 55th Cong., 3rd sess. (26 January 1899): 1125. See also Justesen, George Henry White: 263.
78House Select Committee on the Twelfth Census, Apportionment Among the Several States, 56th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Rept. 2130 (20 December 1900): 15. This document, which contained a section entitled “History of Apportionment,” accompanied H.R. 12740. Later efforts to enforce that provision, following the wave of state constitutional conventions that drafted statutes to eliminate black voters, were pursued on several occasions but were feeble, halting and, ultimately, ineffective. The enforcement section was struck and never reinserted into subsequent decennial apportionment bills.
79Charles W. Eagles, Democracy Delayed: Congressional Reapportionment and Urban–Rural Conflict in the 1920s (Athens: The University Georgia Press, 1990): especially pages 21–31.
80House Select Committee on the Census, Compilation and Collection of Certain State Laws, Etc., 55th Cong., 3rd sess., H. Rept. 2354 (3 March 1899): 1–2.
81Congressional Record, House, 56th Cong., 2nd sess. (7 January 1901): 67–75; Perman, Struggle for Mastery: 228–229. States with additional poll taxes and property exclusions would potentially lose even more seats.
82Congressional Record, House, 56th Cong., 2nd sess. (7 January 1901): 74. For Crumpacker’s motivations, see Perman, Struggle for Mastery: 229.
83Congressional Record, House, 56th Cong., 2nd sess. (8 January 1901): 737.
85Perman, Struggle for Mastery: 238–239.
86Congressional Record, House, 58th Cong., 2nd sess. (27 January 1904): 1276. Quotation in Perman, Struggle for Mastery: 240.
87“A Bomb in Caucus: Republican Proposition to Southern Democrats,” 18 April 1902, Washington Post: 1; Perman, Struggle for Mastery: 239–240. Subsequent reduction legislation also failed. In 1903 Crumpacker assumed the chairmanship of the House Committee on the Census, affording him a prime perch from which to push for enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment. During the 59th Congress (1905–1907), Crumpacker, working with former Speaker of the House Joseph Keifer of Ohio, introduced a measure to reduce southern representation by 37 House seats. The bill never made it to the floor for a vote. See Congressional Record, House, 59th Cong., 1st sess. (16 March 1906): 3885–3894; “Crusade Against South as Result of Campaign for ‘Disfranchisement,’ ” 27 February 1906, Atlanta Constitution: 1; “Gen. Keifer’s New Reconstruction,” 3 March 1906, Washington Post: 6; “Disfranchisement and Reapportionment,” 4 March 1906, Atlanta Constitution: C4. In May 1908, Crumpacker managed to attach a reduction rider to a campaign contribution reform bill. The amended measure passed the House, despite condemnations from southern Members, but the campaign bill and its rider died quietly in the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections at the end of the 60th Congress (1907–1909). See Congressional Record, House, 60th Cong., 1st sess. (22 May 1908): 6763–6768; “Minority Is Hard Hit: House Republicans pass the Crumpacker Bill,” 23 May 1908, Washington Post: 4. For Williams’s quotation, see “House Upholds Stroke at South by Crumpacker,” 23 May 1908, Atlanta Constitution: 1. For southern reaction, see “The Crumpacker Menace,” 24 May 1908, Atlanta Constitution: A4; and “Fooling With Dynamite,” 27 May 1908, Atlanta Constitution: 6.