The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 274
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
while contribution to the literature of Louisiana, as well as to
Several monographs have been written dealing with "political
rings" in Northern and Eastern cities, but this is the first to
describe a political machine in a Southern city. The reviewer
appreciates the complex and complicated task of studying the
various activities and influences of a city political machine. The
political issues are well interwoven with the economic and social
forces and are described clearly. The state was wrested from
carpetbaggers in 1877 by a combination of rural and city poli-
ticians, and these split in 1879. The city faction gained control
of the state government in 1880. They lost the state election eight
years later. The city machine backed the lottery company. The
disrepute and troubles it encountered when defeated in the lottery
fight helped pave the way for the organization of a political machine
such as the Choctaw Club. This club was organized in 1897. The
rise of this club to political power in the city of New Orleans and
its influence on state politics in many ways has been well told by
Dr. Reynolds. The interplay of politics and economic and social
forces suggests how and why the "city machine" worked so long
and so effectively.
The power of the political machine during most of the period
was in the hands of Martin Behrman who was not only the guiding
power but held the office of mayor for seventeen years and was
the recognized leader of the Choctaw Club from 1904 until his
death in 1926. This son of Jewish parents rose from humble sur-
roundings to a position of power. It is questionable whether he
was as "morally pure" and honest as the study seems to imply.
There are several minor errors that detract from the study, such
as the statement that S. D. McEnery was elected governor in 1888
(p. 23) when as a matter of fact F. T. Nicholls was elected gov-
ernor in 1888. The statement (p. 28) referring to the election of
1896 as "the most disorderly ever held in the state" is open to
serious question. In listing the parishes carried by the Populists
in the election of 1896 (footnote p. 28) appears "Arcadia" when
the author meant "Acadia." Again (p. 178) H. C. Blanchard is
listed as governor, when "N. C." were his initials. Then (p. 218)
"Henry Bauncaud" is listed as a candidate for governor in 1924.
The person referred to was "Hewitt Bouanchaud." Despite these
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/296/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.