A Republican Text-Book for Colored Voters

Meant as a primer for African American voters, this short volume includes a brief interview with William Jennings Bryan, followed by a comment on Jim Crow cars.


Nick Chiles, of the Topeka Plaindealer, interviews Mr. Bryan, the so-called "champion of the oppressed," and receives only evasive answers to questions about the right of the black man in the South.

"We were never more surprised in a human being than we were after a close range study of the personality of the self-styled political reformer. He is a cunning and artful dodger. While he proclaims that he is the champion of down-trodden humanity he would not say that the party he represents was not opposed to a certain element of much abused people.

"He lives in a rosy, two-story cottage, with a large, roomy veranda extending in a half circle about it, and bright with a coat of new paint. We were met at the door by Mrs. Bryan, who received our card and presented it to her distinguished husband. We were seated on the porch and after being courteously received and greeted by the Democratic nominee, proceeded to ask some pointed questions, to which only evasive answers were given us.

"'Mr. Bryan, do you consider Senator Tillman of South Carolina a representative of true Democracy?'"

"'I do not wish to discuss personal matters.'"

"'Well, do you think his utterances in and out of the Senate consistent with Democratic principles?'"

"'Read our platform.'"

"'Do you mean to say that your platform contains all that is most beneficial to the masses of the body politic?'"

"No, but what it lacks the people will have to trust to my judgment.'"

"'What do you think of the 'Jim Crow' car law and the disenfranchisement amendment to the constitution of the Southern States relative to the elective franchise?'"

"'They are responsible in those States for their actions; read our declaration of principles.'"

"'Now, Mr. Bryant, in keeping with common justice and humanity, do you think the negro is receiving just recognition and equality before the law in the South?'"

"'I won't answer that question. Is your paper Republican or Democratic in politics?'"

"'Republican, sir!'"

"'I thought so from your questions. I have never been asked such questions before."'

"' Now, Mr. Bryan, don't you know that the colored people are not being respected in the Southern states, and there your party is the dominant power? That respectable negroes are compelled to ride in separate coaches with the dirtiest, lowest people of their own race, and to come in contact with the meanest and most contemptible of the white?'"

"'I won't answer that.'"

"'But, Mr. Bryan, the colored people ought to know what you think of the treatment they get at the hands of your party in the South.'"

"'You've read the Declaration of Independence? Then read what Mr. Lincoln said in reference to the dark races in the Philippines.'"

"'Is it not a fact, however, that the Declaration of Independence didn't apply to the negro, and he was kept in bondage years afterward?'"

"'Well, we won't discuss that. Just read our platform.'"

"Seeing he terminated the interview with this remark, we thanked him for the courtesies shown us and bade him good day. One can see by his evasions that Mr. Bryan is playing a double game, fishing for negro votes, and at the same time holding with 'Pitchfork' Tillman, whose malevolent hatred of the black man makes him the curse and bane of our National Congress. With this prospect in view, alas, poor black Democrat."


When the infamous "Jim Crow" car law went into effect in Virginia it had been decided to hold the annual encampment of the District of Columbia National Guard at Leesburg, Va., but Brigadier-General Geo. H. Harries, with the liberality characteristic of all broad-minded American citizens changed, the place of encampment form the above named place to Gaithersburg, Md.

General Harries is a Republican, and he felt that it would be humiliating and embarrassing to the colored members of the guard and their relatives and friends when traveling to and fro to be compelled to occupy the "Jim Crow" car.

About this Document

  • Source: A Republican Text-Book for Colored Voters
  • Editor: T. H. R. Clarke and Sergeant B. McKay
  • Publisher: Unknown
  • Published: Unknown
  • Citation: Pages 40-43 (excerpts)
  • Date: 1901