Who Killed John Clayton?: Political Violence and the Emergence of the New South, 1861-1893 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $12.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 43%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (6) from $12.98   
  • New (3) from $12.98   
  • Used (3) from $13.44   

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Barnes has written the story of the Clayton assassination and cover-up in admirably accessible prose, brilliantly organized. He makes clear the significance of this single event and the place of violence in the Reconstruction metanarrative. Students. . .will find it riveting and [will] come away with a clearer understanding of what happened during Reconstruction.” - Christopher Waldrep, American Historical Review

“This is a gem of a monograph, well-researched, written in plain English, and a work whose broad import extends beyond one county or one state.” - George B. Tindall, Journal of American History

“[T]his fascinating study . . . is much more than simply an examination of murder. Barnes uses this incident as the entry into the world of a post-Civil War Southern community, scrutinizing Conway County’s social drama, discovering the tensions that made possible the murder of a highly visible public figure. . . . Barnes’s close-up look at this community is a jarring reminder of the fragility of life in the postwar South. . . . Anyone interested in the development of the South from the years of the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century will find this study worth examining.” - Civil War History

“This superb book is a model of what local history can and ought to be. . . . [It] is essential reading for all those interested in the history of Arkansas and the South. It not only reveals who killed Clayton and why but also explains the consequences of this premeditated act and reveals much about the role of violence in the nation’s political process.” - Willard B. Gatewood, Arkansas Historical Quarterly

“The circumvention of democracy in Conway County, Arkansas, in the late 1880s is a sad and sordid tale, well-told in this elegantly crafted book.” - Randy Finley, The Journal of Southern History

“Barnes has written a vivid, powerful, and full narrative about material few historians have encountered.”—Ted Ownby, University of Mississippi

“Kenneth Barnes manages to explore and illuminate some of the most significant and vexing questions related to the emergence of the ‘Solid South’ at the close of the nineteenth century. This fascinating book makes an original contribution to our understanding of the New South’s political culture.”—Raymond Arsenault, University of South Florida

Choice
Barnes incorporates the story of a notable Conway County murder into a larger statement on the social and political transition of New South Arkansas....Well researched and well written, this book is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate readers and should command significant popular interest as well.
Civil War History
[T]his fascinating study...is much more than simply an examination of murder. Barnes uses this incident as the entry into the world of a post-Civil War Southern community, scrutinizing Conway County's social drama, discovering the tensions that made possible the murder of a highly visible public figure....Barnes's close-up look at this community is a jarring reminder of the fragility of life in the postwar South...Anyone interested in the development of the South from the years of the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century will find this study worth examining.
Journal of American History
This is a gem of a monograph, well-researched, written in plain English, and a work whose broad import extends beyond one county or one state.
American Historical Review
Barnes has written the story of the Clayton assassination and cover-up in admirably accessible prose, brilliantly organized. He makes clear the significance of this single event and the place of violence in the Reconstruction metanarrative. Students...will find it riveting and [will] come away with a clearer understanding of what happened during Reconstruction.
North Carolina Historical Review
Barnes places the Clayton murder within a broader context of social and political conflict dating back to the 1850s....[A] fascinating story that historians will want to read.
Georgia Historical Quarterly
Who Killed John Clayton? shows just how difficult it was to forge continuity in Conway County, Arkansas, and by extension, in many parts of the South.
Arkansas Historical Quarterly
This superb book is a model of what local history can and ought to be....[It] is essential reading for all those interested in the history of Arkansas and the South. It not only reveals who killed Clayton and why but also explains the consequences of this premeditated act and reveals much about the role of violence in the nation's political process.
Log Cabin Democrat
Barnes's research is impressive....[He] traces the patterns of political outrage over a three decade period in a publication that is both dramatic and historical in its implications.
Arkansas Libraries
Who Killed John Clayton? is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the lesser known aspects of Arkansas history or in the process of historical research....Kenneth Barnes [takes] an event that was no more than a footnote in Arkansas history and, through diligent research, expand[s] it to an informative historical narrative.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822320722
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth C. Barnes is Associate Professor of History at the University of Central Arkansas.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Local Divisions and Lasting Grudges: Civil War and Reconstruction 7
2 Motives for Murder: Democrats and Republicans Compete for Power, 1872-1888 33
3 Murder and Fraud: How Democrats Reclaimed Conway County, 1888-1889 60
4 Consequences of Murder: Things Fall Apart, 1890-1893 94
5 Murder's Reward: Rule of the Fine-Haired Gentlemen 117
Appendixes 133
Notes 149
Bibliography 181
Index 195
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)