The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 46
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Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly
tee compiled testimony of a nature to convince its chairman, Joseph B.
Foraker (R-Ohio), of misplaced guilt, the majority of the inquiring
body concurred with the general opinion."
The furor over the Brownsville affray climaxed the stormy relation-
ship that had existed between Texas and the black military for several
decades. The War Department dispatched the Ninth and Tenth Cav-
alry and the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Infantry regiments to the
state shortly after Congress organized the units in 1866. Unwelcome in
population centers on either side of the Mississippi, the soldiers la-
bored diligently on the border and western reaches of Texas, protect-
ing skeptical townsfolk and rurals from Indians and bandits. White re-
action in turn vacillated between grudging acceptance of the blacks,
particularly in garrison towns highly dependent on federal largess, and
sporadic violence against the defenders.'
The Spanish-American War brought a new urgency to this relation-
ship. Having departed Texas in the mid-188os for more westerly cam-
paigns, black troops earned accolades for bravery in Cuba during the
war with Spain. When the Negroes returned to the Lone Star State at the
turn of the century, their invigorated quest for constitutional equality
collided head-on with tightening racial restraints in Texas and across
the South. Clashes ignited between soldiers and civilians at Texarkana,
Laredo, Rio Grande City, and El Paso. The latter site produced a sensa-
tional trial in which a black sergeant received a life sentence for the
death of a popular lawman. The Brownsville Raid occurred against a
background of deteriorating Negro status: Texas in that same year ex-
tended railroad segregation to streetcars, eliminated the black militia,
and held the second all-white Democratic primary. The state witnessed
over a hundred lynchings between 1900oo and 1910 o, the third highest in
2Affray at Bownsvlle, Tex., August 13 and 14, 19o6 Proceedngs of a General Court-Martial Con-
vened at Headquarters Department of Texas, San Antonzo, Tex , February 4, 1907 in the Case of Mal
Charles W Penrose, Twenty-flIth United States Infantry, Sen Doc no 402, 6oth Cong., Ist Scss.,
Part 2 (Serial 5253); Affray at Brownsville, Tex, . Proceedings of a General Court-Martial Con-
vened ... April 15, 1907 in the Case of Capt Edgar A Mackln . , S. Exec. Doc. 402, 6oth Cong ,
Ist Scess., Part 3 (Serial 5254)
'William H Leckie, The Buffalo Solders A Narative of the Negro Cavalry in the West (Norman-
University of Oklahoma Press, 1967), 6; John M Carroll (ed ), The Black Military Experience in
the American West (New Yolk. Liverwright Publishing Corp., 1971), 67-71; Arlen L Fowler, The
Black Infantry in the West, 1869-r891 (Westport, Conn.. Greenwood Press, 1971), 19-20, Jack
D. Foner, Blacks and the Military zn American Hlitory A New Perspective (New York- Praeger,
1974), 52-57; Frank N. Schubert, "Black Soldiers on the White Frontier. Some Factors Influ-
encing Race Relations," Phylon: Review of Race and Culture, XXXII (Winter, 1971), 415-
'C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of fin Crow (2nd rev ed.; New York: Oxford Unlver-
sity Press, 1966), 67-1o9; Foner, Blacks and the Military, 73-74; Alwyn Barr, Black Texars, A
History of Negroes in Texas 1528-1971 (Austin: Jenkins Publishinmg Co, 1973), 88; Garna L
Christian, "The Violent Possibility. The Tenth Cavalry at Texarkana," East Texas I istorcal Jour-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/m1/72/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.