“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago.”
The South ultimately chose slavery over classical liberalism.
D.P. Upham was put in charge of suppressing the Klan in the Northeastern district of Arkansas during Reconstruction by his fellow carpetbag Gov. Powell Clayton. While the Klan lost that battle, it didn’t lose the war. Arkansas was redeemed in 1874 by Gov. Augustus Garland.
Here is where this gets interesting: it turns out that by the early 20th century, blacks were forbidden to live in Clay County, AR, Greene County, AR and Craighead County, AR. This contiguous swath of northeast Arkansas was transformed into a de facto White ethnostate sometime after the Klan war with Upham. These three counties now range today between 89% and 98% White.
“Though nowhere near as murderous as other race riots across the state, the Harrison Race Riots of 1905 and 1909 drove all but one African American from Harrison (Boone County), creating by violence an all-white community similar to other such “sundown towns” in northern and western Arkansas. With the headquarters of the Arkansas Faction of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) located nearby, Harrison has retained the legacy of its ethnic cleansing, in terms of demographics and reputation, through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. …
The enmity that Harrison felt for its black population came to a head on October 2, 1905, when a white mob stormed the jail and took two black prisoners—one of whom had been charged two days earlier with breaking into Dr. John J. Johnson’s residence—along with several others and transported them outside city limits. There, they whipped their captives and ordered them to leave. The mob then went on a rampage through Harrison’s black community. Numbering about thirty, they burned down homes, shot out windows, and ordered all African Americans to vacate the town that night. Many did, fleeing to places such as Fayetteville (Washington County) and Eureka Springs (Carroll County) or to Missouri. In the following days, the people who had stayed were attacked and harassed. On October 7, 1905, J. E. Hibdon, member of a posse, shot and killed black railroad worker George Richards at the Omaha railroad camp. …
The remnants of the black community in Harrison lived a tenuous existence until 1909, when Harrison’s transformation into an all-white town was made complete by yet another riot. The ostensible catalyst for this second round of violence was the January 18, 1909, arrest of Charles Stinnett on the charge of raping a white woman. To stem the potential for mob violence, Judge B. B. Hudgins made provisions for a speedy trial. On January 21, Stinnett and the victim, Emma Lovett, testified, and the jury went into closed session at 11:00 a.m. to return a guilty verdict four hours later, with a sentence of death by hanging.
Upon hearing news that Lovett was gravely ill after the trial, a lynch mob formed and proceeded toward the Harrison jail; Stinnett was transported to Marshall (Searcy County). But the continuing presence of the mob resulted in another mass exodus of black citizens from Harrison. Most left on the night of January 28, 1909, following some of the same roads their predecessors took four years earlier. Only one black townsperson, Alecta Caledonia Melvina Smith, known as “Aunt Vine,” remained. The property of those who left was quickly declared forfeit. …
Racial violence in Boone County may have led African Americans in neighboring counties to flee the area. Census records for Carroll and Madison counties show that, between 1900 and 1910, the black population dropped steeply. Whether this was because of a desire to escape the area’s climate of hostility, or whether other, unreported incidents of racial violence may have driven the black population out, remains unknown. “
In northwest Arkansas, blacks were driven out of Boone County, AR, Carroll County, AR and Madison County, AR in the Ozarks after Whites rioted twice, which are also contiguous. Further to the south in the Arkansas Delta, the Elaine Massacre of 1919 was the bloodiest racial confrontation in the history of Arkansas and possibly in all of American history:
“The Elaine Massacre was by far the deadliest racial confrontation in Arkansas history and possibly the bloodiest racial conflict in the history of the United States. While its deepest roots lay in the state’s commitment to white supremacy, the events in Elaine (Phillips County) stemmed from tense race relations and growing concerns about labor unions. A shooting incident that occurred at a meeting of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union escalated into mob violence on the part of the white people in Elaine and surrounding areas. Although the exact number is unknown, estimates of the number of African Americans killed by whites range into the hundreds; five white people lost their lives.”
The Whites rioted again in Elaine.
These sundown towns and sundown counties used to be common in northern Arkansas and the South during the Jim Crow era:
“Sundown towns are a hidden past of Northwest Arkansas some have chosen to forget but others remember firsthand.
For decades, signs banning black people from several cities after sundown graced the region.
Many say history repeats itself, but this is a past some Northwest Arkansans hope to never see again. …
Dr. Guy Lancaster, Historian and Editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, says segregation separated the natural state decades ago and left a lasting effect behind.
“The important thing to remember is that when these signs reportedly came down post World War II era, the attitudes remained for many decades,” he said. “Historically, one has been able to draw a line down from Blytheville in Northeastern Arkansas to Texarkana in the southwest and both sides of the line would exhibit radically different racial compositions,” with western and northern Arkansas having a mostly white population. …”
I’m less familiar with Arkansas than other Southern states, but Davis, Vardaman, Watson and Tillman all publicly defended lynching. It gives you an idea of how radically different the culture and political climate was in those times. This was 30 years after the end of Reconstruction too.
Note: This idea that the South was some kind of unfolding of the eternal principles of classical liberalism flies in the face of our history. The retreat from the classical liberalism of the American Founding to the extent it ever existed here began almost as soon as the Revolution was over.