The Union League of Texas


J. M. Jerry Moore Marshall, Texas, Slave Narrative

I rec'lect the time the cullud folks registered here after the war. They outnumbered the whites a long way. Davis was governor and all the white folks had to take the Iron Clad oath to vote. Carpetbaggers and Negroes run the government. In the early days they held the election four days. They didn't vote to precincts but at the court house. The Democratic Party had no chance to 'timidate the darkies. The 'publican party had a 'Loyal League' for to protect the cullud folks. First the Negroes went to the league house to get 'structions and ballots and then marched to the court house, double file, to vote. My father was a member of the 11th and 12th legislature from this county. He was 'lected just after the Constitutional Convention, when Davis was elected governor. Two darkies, Mitch Kennel and Wiley Johnson, was 'lected from this county to be members of that Convention.

"'Durin' the Reconstruction the Negroes gathered in Harrison County. The Yankee sojers and 'Progoe' law made thousands of darkies flock here for protection. The Ku Klux wasn't as strong here and this place was headquarters for the 'Freedman.' What the 'Progoe' Marshall said was Gospel. They broke up all that business in Governor Hogg's time. They divided the county into precincts and the devilment was done in the precincts, just like it is now.

"My father told me about old Col. Alford and his Kluxers takin' Anderson Wright out to the bayou. They told him, 'You'd better pray.' Wright got down on his knees and acted like he was prayin' till he crawled to the bank and jumped in the bayou. The Klux shot at him fifty or sixty times, but he got away. The Loyal League give him money to leave on and he stayed away a long time.


Handbook of Texas Online Notes

 GRIMES COUNTY The secret activities of the county's Loyal Leagues, organized among the freedmen by Republicans as an agency of political indoctrination, inflamed white fears of black conspiracies against white lives and property.
With military protection afforded the black majority, the white Republican minority, through the use of the local Union League, took control of county government.
Blacks organized under white sponsorship in the Union League. A major weakness of this new organization was that its members shared little in common, other than their opposition to the power and policies of the conservatives. Still, that opposition meant that their electoral triumph threatened to bring about a potential political revolution.
In the summer of 1867 the party secured many county and state offices when federal military officers removed incumbents as "impediments to Reconstruction" and replaced them with Republicans. At this time Pease assumed James W. Throckmorton's place as governor. These appointments gave Republicans control over voter registration and placed party loyalists in positions to aid local party development, including forming chapters of the Union League
The appearance of the Republican-sponsored Union League in the county in early 1867 outraged white Democrats, who responded by forming a Klan-like organization.
During Reconstruction, federal troops were stationed at Brazoria and Sandy Point. A Freedmen's Bureau agent arrived in the county in 1865, the Union League organized and registered black voters by the mid-1870s, and voters elected black legislator George T. Ruby as early as 1870 and Nathan H. Haller as late as 1894.
Other conflicts arose from Ku Klux Klan opposition to the Union League, which sought to enroll black voters, and from other opposition to improvements in the lives of former slaves.
In September 1867 he attempted to form a Union League in Uvalde. This "act of disloyalty" to Texas and the South so incensed his former friend G. W. (Tom) Wall that on the morning of October 3 Wall murdered Black in his own store in the presence of several witnesses.