Monday, November 22, 2010

Today -100: November 22, 1910: Of senators, Jim Crow, assassinations, revolutions, and new constitutions

Unlike Foss in Massachusetts (see yesterday), NY Governor-Elect Dix says he will leave the matter of electing a US senator entirely up to the Legislature, and won’t even express a preference.

Democrats on the Baltimore City Council are moving towards adopting an ordinance for residential racial segregation. A committee report says “No fault is found with the negroes’ ambitions, but the committee feels that Baltimoreans will be criminally negligent as to their future happiness if they suffer the negroes’ ambitions to go unchecked. The existence of such an ambition is a constant menace to the social quietude and property values of every white neighborhood in Baltimore.” To quote Jimmy McNulty, “What the fuck is wrong with this city?”

The editor of the Kentucky newspaper Appeal to Reason is sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and a $1,000 fine for mailing envelopes on which was printed “$1,000 reward will be paid to any person who kidnaps ex-Governor Taylor and returns him to the Kentucky authorities,” which the jury considered defamatory and threatening. The NYT doesn’t explain, but this is about the 1900 assassination of Gov. William Goebel, which I mentioned on the 18th when another of the (alleged) conspirators was elected to Congress. William Taylor was initially declared the winner of the 1899 elections but served only 50 days before the legislature reversed the results (there was so much corruption and partisan maneuvering I really don’t know who actually won the election). So the assassination was a subtle means of keeping Taylor in office, but didn’t work and Goebel was inaugurated before dying of his wounds. When the indictments started coming down, Taylor fled to Indiana, whose governor refused to extradite him. Thus the reward for Taylor’s return to Kentucky (in 1909, after the reward announcement, Taylor was pardoned by another Republican governor).

Old Mexico: Rebels capture the town of Gomez Palacio. 300 Federal troops evidently go over to their side. Francisco Madero has crossed into Mexico from the US.

New Mexico: The constitutional convention has finished its work. Hispanics, suspicious of the Federal enabling act requirement that all state officers and legislators must speak English, demanded equality before the law. So provisions ban any distinction based on inability to speak English for jury duty, the franchise or other officials not covered by the Federal act and also ban separate schools for whites and Hispanics.

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