In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

­ 92 5 The Na­ tional Negro Lib­ erty Party and the De­ ba­ cle of the 1904 Elec­ tion It is an in­ sult to the Negro of the state of Il­ li­ nois and of the ­ United ­ States by plac­ ing such an ob­ jec­ tion­ able Negro at the head of such a move­ ment. It is now time for the Negro ­ papers to speak out, and show that Scott is put up for sale. God save us from them. Saint Louis Pal­ la­ dium, 16 July 1904 The prompt­ ness with which the negro can­ di­ date for the pres­ i­ dency was­ landed in the East St. Louis jail would in­ di­ cate that the “na­ tional lib­ erty” party is to have se­ vere fight­ ing from the first. Cedar Rap­ ids ­ Weekly Ga­ zette, 20 July 1904 Ob­ jec­ tion­ able Negro”? T. ­ Thomas For­ tune at the New York Globe had ­ called Scott a “heb­ e­ tu­ di­ nous crank” ­ twenty years ear­ lier, but that paled in com­ par­ i­ son to call­ ing some­ one ob­ jec­ tion­ able.1 In the heat of an ar­ gu­ ment in 1872, Rev­ er­ end ­ Shores had la­ beled him a “fiend” and had ques­ tioned his moral char­ ac­ ter.2 When Maud Rit­ ten­ house de­ scribed him as “the mean­ est man in town” in 1882, she was a teen­ ager, and her com­ ments were con­ tained in a diary that she ­ likely ­ thought would re­ main for­ ever pri­ vate.3 Suf­ fi­ cient oth­ ers, how­ ever, had con­ sid­ ered Scott a rea­ son­ able and like­ able per­ son; oth­ er­ wise, they would not have se­ lected him to so many high of­ fices. Nor would they have in­ vited him re­ peat­ edly to give ad­ dresses at Eman­ ci­ pa­ tion Day cel­ e­ bra­ tions. Oth­ ers may have con­ sid­ ered him vile, but no one had yet said that in print. Black news­ papers and their ed­ i­ tors ap­ par­ ently had been will­ ing to over­ look a life of pec­ ca­ dil­ loes so long as it ­ stayed hid­ den and per­ sonal and did lit­ tle dam­ age to the party. In 1904, how­ ever, it was a dif­ fer­ ent time; per­ sonal his­ to­ ries ­ really mat­ tered. There was also a strug­ gle ­ between “good” and a mys­ ter­ i­ ous and de­ vi­ ous “them,” the ul­ ti­ mate an­ tag­ o­ nists. The National Negro Liberty Party 93 The year 1904 ­ should have been ­ Scott’s most satis­ fy­ ing year and July his most grat­ ify­ ing month. Liv­ ing in Saint ­ Louis’s sis­ ter city of East Saint Louis, Scott was a tram ­ ride’s dis­ tance from the cen­ ter of the ­ American uni­ verse in 1904. The eyes of the na­ tion, es­ pe­ cially those in the Mid­ west, were ­ trained on Saint Louis, which was host­ ing a spec­ tac­ u­ lar ­ world’s fair and inter­ na­ tional ex­ hi­ bi­ tion. The fair, named the Loui­ siana Pur­ chase Ex­ po­ si­ tion, was to com­ memorate the hun­ dredth an­ ni­ ver­ sary of “Jefferson’s Folly,” the pur­ chase of the Loui­ siana Ter­ ri­ tory from ­ France, which dou­ bled the ­ nation’s size with the ­ stroke of a pen. The fair was to be open for vis­ i­ tors ­ between 30 April and 1 De­ cem­ ber. Rail­ roads that criss­ crossed the coun­ try of­ fered dis­ count fares to travel­ ers head­ ing to­ ward Saint Louis and its fair. Even a song, “Meet Me in Saint Louis, Louis,” was writ­ ten to stir the imag­ i­ na­ tion and draw the ­ crowds.4 Saint Louis was a major hub of rail­ road com­ mu­ ni­ ca­ tion and was large ­ enough to feed and ac­ com­ mo­ date the thou­ sands of out­ sid­ ers who would at­ tend the ­ fair’s sched­ uled ­ events. The na­ tional Dem­ o­ cratic Party would hold its con­ ven­ tion in Saint Louis, as would ­ scores of other as­ so­ ci­ a­ tions that would con­ vene and visit the fair at the same time. Fair or­ ga­ niz­ ers also ­ planned the “Games,” which they ­ billed as the Third Olym­ piad, to run ­ between 20...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.