Politics and Government Research Notes


Politicians, government officials etc.

Pittsburg Incorporation

Organization of Camp County

"Anglo settlement began in the late 1830s, with most of the early settlers coming from the southern states of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. These early, predominantly southern settlers brought with them their southern heritage and institutions "
"Camp County was separated from Upshur County in 1874 and named for John Lafayette Camp, who was serving as state senator from Upshur County and presented the petitions that led to the action of the legislature. A county seat election was held, and Pittsburg won with 500 votes. Leesburg, to the west, received 228, and Center Point, in the southeastern part, received sixty-nine." 
"When voters went to the polls to select the county seat in 1874, they also elected the first county officials. Most of those elected were Republicans. As in most Texas counties controlled by the Republican party during this Reconstruction period, the votes for Republican candidates came almost exclusively from black voters, while the candidates themselves were generally white. By 1876 Democrats had regained control of the county. On the local level they were generally successful in maintaining control; in fact, by the 1890s the Republicans no longer fielded a county ticket. But in state and national elections, Republicans waged vigorous campaigns. The vote was generally close through the nineteenth and into the first years of the twentieth century, particularly when third-party efforts divided traditionally Democratic voters. In the 1888 national election, for example, the Democrats won by just thirty-eight votes out of 1,232 votes cast. In 1892, 1896, and 1900, the Republicans carried the county in most state and all national races, as the People's party waged a generally unsuccessful campaign against the Democratic party for control of the county.

Beginning with the imposition of the poll tax in 1902, the state government implemented a series of procedures that effectively limited black political participation. In Camp County these measures meant that the Democratic hold on the county was strengthened. The measures, coupled with the apparent certainty of a Democratic victory, also acted to keep many whites, particularly poorer ones, away from the polls. In the 1900 general election, 1,596 votes were recorded, while in 1904, although the county population was increasing, only 895 county residents voted.

In the late 1940s the impediments to participation by blacks and poor whites were gradually lifted, beginning with the end of the white primary. Although the population of the county was declining, voter turnout jumped from 1,488 in 1948 to 2,487 in 1952. Through all these changes, the county has generally remained Democratic. From 1900 to 1992, the Democratic presidential candidate has carried the county in every election except the 1972 and 1984 elections, when Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan respectively carried the county."

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "CAMP COUNTY," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/CC/hcc5.html (accessed June 5, 2005).

"By 1890 Pittsburg had a population of 1,203. On August 21, 1891, an election resulted in favor of incorporation, 110 to 74, and E. A. King was elected the first mayor." 
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "PITTSBURG, TX," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/PP/hgp7.html (accessed June 5, 2005).