Stone Collection: Volume 78 - Item 44
44. Clarence H. Poe, “Suffrage Restriction in the South; Its Causes and Consequences,” North American Review (October 1902): 534-43.
History of the efforts in the Southern states to disfranchise black voters. The author divides the period into three phases: 1) unrestricted black suffrage during Reconstruction, 2) restriction or control of black suffrage by means not recognized as lawful from 1875 to 1895, and 3) disfranchisement by state laws that prescribe test of fitness for the suffrage after 1895. The author describes the process as mutually beneficial and irreversible as long as the federal government does not intervene. “The South, beset by perils on right and left, has evolved a new method of dealing with that White Man’s Burden which she has borne for more than thirty years—a method that, in spite of appearances of injustice, promises better government, fairer elections, greater political freedom, and more generous treatment of the negro than would be possible were the National Government to compel a return to the policy of so-called unrestricted suffrage.”