The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 456
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
it was his relationship with the leaders of the national party that
spelled his final downfall. In the national convention of 188o,
in which James A. Garfield received the Republican nomination
after a thirty-six-ballot fight between James G. Blaine and U. S.
Grant, who was seeking a third term, Cuney voted thirty-five
times for Blaine before shifting to Garfield on the final ballot.5
Garfield was, of course, assassinated shortly after taking office,
and Cuney early became an enemy of his successor, Chester A.
Arthur. At Chicago for the national convention in 1884, Cuney
told a newspaper reporter that the delegation from Texas "would
give Blaine, at the very least, one-half of her twenty-six votes."
He went on to say that "the public service of the South had been
shamelessly used and prostituted to manufacture votes in this
convention for Chester A. Arthur, but Texas was too independent
to be included in that rotten gang ... Texas would cast thirteen
or fourteen votes for Blaine."" Blaine received the nomination
only to be defeated by Grover Cleveland, but Cuney by backing
him was on the right side of the national Republican leaders.
The Negroes were by this time in complete control of the
Texas party and the beginnings of a long struggle between the
white and colored elements for control was taking place. Judge
C. C. Binckley of Sherman, who was Texas' national committee-
man,7 died in 1885, and Cuney was named his successor the
following year. There was a contest between the different factions
at the 1886 state convention, but "the colored brothers champed
the bit and in a jiffy had nominated N. W. Cuney, of Galveston,
by acclamation" Texas national committeeman."
In the national election of 1888 Benjamin Harrison won the
presidency and the Republicans were returned to power. Cuney
received in 1889 one of the most important federal positions in
the South, the Collectorship of Customs at Galveston. The ap-
pointment was made largely through the efforts of Senator Wil-
liam B. Allison of Iowa and J. S. Clarkson, vice-chairman of the
5Hare, Norris Wright Cuney, 34-
eChicago Daily Tribune, June 3, 1884, p. 1.
'Proceedings of the Eighth Republican National Convention held at Chicago,
Illinois, June 3, 4, 5, and 6, 1884 (Chicago, 1884), 95.
sGalveston Daily News, August 27, 1886, p. 1.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/541/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.