More than one hundred years before Barack Obama, George Edwin Taylor made presidential history. Born in the antebellum South to a slave and a freed woman, Taylor became the first African American ticketed as a political party's nominee for president of the United States, running against Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. Orphaned as a child at the peak of the Civil War, Taylor spent several years homeless before boarding a Mississippi riverboat that dropped him in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Taken in by an African American farm family, Taylor attended a private school and eventually rose to prominence as the owner/editor of a labor newspaper and as a vocal leader in Wisconsin's People's Party. At a time when many African Americans felt allegiance to the Republican Party for its support of abolition, Taylor's sympathy with the labor cause drew him first to the national Democratic Party and then to an African American party, the newly formed National Liberty Party, which in 1904 named him its presidential candidate. Bruce L. Mouser follows Taylor's life and career in Arkansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Florida, giving life to a figure representing a generation of African American idealists whose initial post-slavery belief in political and social equality in America gave way to the despair of the Jim Crow decades that followed. Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the American Association for School Libraries Best Books for Professional Use, selected by the American Association for School Libraries Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association Second Place, Biography, Society of Midland Authors
Bruce L. Mouser is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Charts & Maps, Pictures, Acronysm Acknowledgements Preface Chapter 1: Prologue Chapter 2: From Orphaned Black to Printer's Devil: Taylor's Early Years in God's Country Chapter 3: Labor Agitator, Newspaper Editor, and Political Novice: Schools of Hard Knocks Chapter 4: Emergence of a Black Activist: Joining the African-American World and Succeeding Chapter 5: Taylor: The National Democrat Chapter 6: \u0022 A Duty to His Race\u0022: Taylor and His Campaign to Become President Chapter 7: Escape to a Warm Place Chapter 8: Conclusion Chapter 9: Author's Reflections Appendices: A. Taylor interview with The Sun after the 1904 election B. \u0022Speech of Mr. W. L. Smith before the Convention of the Liberty Party at Douglass Hall\u0022 C. \u0022President Mitchell Blackmailed\u0022 D. Letter from James Ross to George Taylor, 9 August 1904 E. \u0022National Appeal to the American Negro-Why we should favor the Chicago Platform: F. \u0022Woman's Work.\u0022 Address and communications for this department by Cora E. Taylor, Editor, Solicitor Office, Oskaloosa, Iowa G. \u0022Letter of acceptance made public today by Hon. George E. Taylor\u0022 H. Election data for 1904 presidental election I. Chart of George Edwin Taylor's life course Bibliography Endnotes Index