For a short time following the Civil War, African-Americans in the state of Virginia were granted the right to run for office and vote for delegates under the new reconstruction law. Freed slaves in Hampton lined up from sun-up to sundown at the polls to vote. In 1867, 92 percent of eligible freed blacks voted that year for the 24 black delegates on the ballot. Only 66 percent of the voters were white.
The diversity of the delegates was surprising for the time period. There were 17 farmers, 16 ministers, 9 shoemakers, 8 teachers, 6 lawyers, 3 blacksmiths, 2 brickmasons and a boatman. One of the delegates was Haitian and bilingual.
Many of the voting practices we use today were established during the time that black delegates pressed to change the rules. Those include voting by secret ballot, which eliminated oral voting. Back then, voter intimidation was strongly discouraged. Interestingly, the first arguments were raised for racially integrated school systems in the state of Virginia.
Among the strong delegates were men like Dr. Thomas Bayne, a former slave, minister and dentist who was a favorite for office among blacks. Bayne was a former conductor of the Underground Railroad and in favor of the state tax reform. It was Bayne that pressed for school integration. He finished ahead of three white candidates in the 1867 election.
Another delegate was Miles Connor, a farmer who many blacks sought for literacy purposes. Connor could read and write so many went to him for correspondence assistance. Connor’s platform was racial equality, establishment of fraternities and education reform. Connor served from 1875-1877.
The Hodges family had three family members in the Assembly: Charles Hodges, William Hodges and John Hodges. The men were born free but helped slaves escape via Underground Railroad until they were discovered by patrols. They fled to New York where they worked as abolitionists before returning to Virginia. Collectively the Hodges’ delegates worked for the black community of Virginia, lobbying for fishing and hunting areas for the freed blacks and establishing schools in the community.
African-American voters never held the majority so the presence of delegates slowly declined. By 1890, there were no longer black delegates in the Assembly. Shortly following the elimination, laws were placed to ensure blacks lost their voting power and Jim Crow set in throughout the country. It wasn’t until 1967 that blacks were back in office for elections.
If upcoming planning efforts hold, two plaques will be hung in the Virginia State Capitol to commemorate the brief yet strong voting period of blacks in Virginia, mid-19th century.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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