Monday, December 11, 2006

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, Governor 1872

P. B. S. Pinchback was the first African-American to become governor of a U.S. state. Pinchback, a Republican, served as the governor of Louisiana from December 9, 1872, to January 13, 1873. He was sworn in today, 1872

Not a very long term, 27 days, but all things considered, a first is a first. An immutable rule of marketing is ‘it’s better to be first than to be best’.

He was became the first elected African-American lieutenant governor at the death of Oscar Dunn. Upon the impeachment and removal from office of his predecessor, Republican governor Henry Clay Warmoth, for political corruption and for allegedly "stealing" the governor's office from the Democrat John McEnery, Pinchback was promoted to governor.

He was elected to both the House and Senate, but his elections were contested, and his white Democratic opponents were sworn in instead.


Susan Macatee said...

It's funny that we don't think of black politicians in the nineteenth century in the U. S.

But the African-Americans, or Negroes as they were called then, did have the vote by that time.

Of course, in the South, local residents made things difficult for them, because they were afraid of Negroes being elected to office.

Jenn said...

When did African-Americans get the vote?

For that matter, when did women in the U.S. get the vote?

I'm AMAZED that an African-American could get the Republican ticket back then. (Didn't each candidate have to be voted in by the local party members?)

I'm going to have to read the links.