From Slave to State Legislator: John W. E. Thomas, Illinois' First African American Lawmaker

From Slave to State Legislator: John W. E. Thomas, Illinois' First African American Lawmaker

by David A Joens

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809330584
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 02/29/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


David A. Joens is the director of the Illinois State Archives and the author of numerous articles on Illinois political history.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Chronology John William Edinburgh Thomas xi

Introduction: "A Representative of Its Colored Citizens" 1

1 "Let Us Come Out Like Men": The Historic Election of 1876 6

2 "An Able, Attentive, and Sensible Representative": The First Term and a Failed Reelection Bid 25

3 "Justly Entitled to Representation": The Long Road Back to the Legislature 51

4 "Advising Moderation in All Things": The 1883 Legislative Session and Colored Convention 74

5 "We Are Here as Citizens": Reelection, the Civil Rights Bill, and Another Colored Convention 96

6 "By No Means an Unimportant Position": Election to the Office of South Town Clerk in 1887 125

7 "You Ought Not to Insult the Colored People!": Final Bids for Office 147

8 "Forget Personal Grievances": Uniting the Community as Elder Statesman 169

Conclusion: "Leader of the Colored Race Is Dead" 194

Appendix A Illinois' Leading African American Politicians, 1870-99 205 Appendix B: Illinois Civil Rights Act of 1885 211

Notes 213

Bibliography 239

Index 247

Gallery following page 124

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