Days Gone By - stories from the past

Voting problems after the Civil War in Escambia County, Alabama

Continued stories from Rev. R. W. Brooks of Escambia, County, Alabama written in 1939 – WARNING: This story discusses voting in the 1870s after the Civil War and disturbing language and opinions may be used. Please remember the time that this story was written and do not read if it offends you.


First vote cast in 1873

“I (Rev. R. W. Brooks) cast my first vote in 1873 just coming of age in the fall of that year. Everywhere in all the Southland carpet bag governors were holding the offices by reason of the Negro vote.”

“My second vote was cast in Escambia County, Florida, in 1876 for the first Democratic governor after the war. In that day the city of Pensacola was filled with policemen who were so black charcoal would have looked white on them.”

“The mayor was white, on the outside at least. The sheriff was a man from the north and appeared to be a perfect gentleman, but he was certainly in bad company.

Voting in any precinct laws

The Republican governor and legislature of Florida had passed laws that a man could vote in any precinct in the county and many of the negroes took advantage of this and went to and fro voting at each precinct. Something had to be done so in a concerted movement that extended all over the South to elect at all hazards a governor and legislature and let them clean up the dirt that had been made by the scalaways.”

“Mr. George F. Drew was nominated by the Democrats and to say it looked like a forlorn hope was, to put it mildly. At that time Bluff Springs had a bad reputation – especially where its colored people were concerned.”

Gov. George Franklin Drew -Governor of Florida elected 1877

Disturbance at Pensacola

“When one came through he had to make it in fast time. D. F. Sullivan owned the railroad from Pensacola to Flomaton, and also a large sawmill at Bluff Springs. He came up just before election day and told his foreman to shut the mill down that day and send some of the roughest men he had down to Pensacola to vote, and when the day came the boys were eager to go and tried to get me to go with them. Here is what happened:”

“About a dozen armed men went down, and when the train stopped at the foot of Government Street, there were a thousand Negroes surrounding the poles. The boys jumped off the train and hollered ‘Hurrah for Bluff Springs’ and in five minutes there wasn’t a Negro in sight. George F. Drew was elected by a large majority.”

Rev. R. W. Brooks

2/8/1939

Once Alabama was admitted as a state of the United States of America on December 4, 1819, a great wave of immigrants from other states and countries came by flat-boats, pack-horses, covered wagons and ships to become the first citizens of the state. ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Statehood presents the times and conditions Alabama first citizens faced in lost & forgotten stories which include:

  • Who Controlled And Organized The New State of Alabama?
  • Tuscaloosa Had Three Other Names
  • Chandelier Falls & Capitol Burns
  • Alabama Throws Parties For General LaFayette
  • Francis Scott Key Was Sent to Alabama To Solve Problems
  • General Jackson’s Visit to Huntsville For A Horse Race Created Discord At Constitutional Convention

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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Statehood: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 6)


By (author): Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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6 comments

  1. Lanny Young

    What is disturbing about this? True History? It illustrates the corruption that took place during reconstruction that takes place in many parts of the south today when it comes to voting. Only the political parties have changed.

    1. I agree.

    2. I agree wholeheartedly. It’s an old cliche, but, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.”

  2. Disturbing in the sense that a man would intimidate another man into NOT voting by threat of armed violence. The methods have changed today of course but humanity is what it is.

  3. History, no matter where it occurred, is often offensive. In order to have a complete sense of the history of civilization, especially that of the USA, we must know everything, both good and not so good. The currents efforts by politically correct imbeciles to cleanse and rewrite history are disgusting. It is one of the reason why so many of today’s younger folks are so uninformed. Well, let me put it in a likely offensive and politically incorrect way — they are dumber than dirt.

  4. Jesse Littleton

    What the heck is wrong with article? Funny though now it’s the other way around

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