ROBERT C. COTNER, Editor
A History of The Republican Party in Texas, 1865-1965. By Paul
Casdorph. Introduction by Dwight D. Eisenhower. Austin
(The Pemberton Press), 1965. Pp. 315. Illustrations, appen-
dices, bibliography, footnotes, index. $6.95.
The Republican Party in Texas was organized immediately fol-
lowing the Civil War, to provide an instrument to further the
freeing of the Negroes and to hasten the "restoration." The party
quickly divided into two factions, the Radicals who wanted more
Negroes in the party, and the Conservatives. The Radicals ob-
tained control in 1870, with E. J. Davis as Governor of Texas.
Many Negroes were appointed to valued positions, and Negroes
were given full voting rights in 1869.
The Democrats banded together to oust the Republicans and
in 1873 succeeded in defeating Governor Davis. Democrats also
gained control of both houses of the state legislature. The Ne-
groes, however, took a major part in the affairs of the Republican
Party of Texas for many years. In some of the presidential elec-
tions of the late i 8oo's Republicans carried areas with large Negro
population. In 1884 Norris Wright Cuney, a Negro, became lead-
er of the state Republican organization and retained this position
until i896. He was an educated, intelligent man and controlled
important patronage under Republican Presidents. During this
time there were serious conflicts between the whites and Negroes
within the party, and between the white Democrats and the Re-
publicans. An outstanding example was in Fort Bend County
where Negroes had been in control since the Civil War. The
whites strongly resented this condition, resulting in the Jaybird-
Woodpecker feud. A considerable number on both sides were
killed, but the Jaybirds (white Democrats) finally obtained con-
trol of the county government in 1890. The principal Repub-
lican accomplishment was the electing of R. B. Hawley to con-
gress in 1896.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed September 21, 2014.