The Jaybird Democratic Association of Fort Bend County : A white man's union



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This thesis is the story of the Jaybird Democratic Association of Fort Bend County, Texas, a so-called "White Man's Union." In preparing a proper background in order to relate the founding of the Jaybird Democratic Association, it was necessary to begin this study with the colorful history of the county itself, which had its beginning with some of the Old Three Hundred, original colonists under Stephen F. Austin, who settled in the area that is now Fort Bend County. The historical background f this story extends to the turbulent Post-Reconstruction Era. This study was primarily concerned with the politics in Fort Bend County during the periods of Reconstruction, Post-Reconstruction, and the present day. There were many factors pertinent to this study, such as, the ratio between the white and black population of Fort Bend County, and the political situation in Fort Bend County that grew out of the national political picture. However, the period dating from 1889 to 1950 covers in detail the activities of the Jaybird Democratic Association and shows how this Association dominated county and precinct politics, and in doing so, completely disfranchised the Negro. A suit was filed against the Jaybird Association in the Federal District Court, by the Negroes of Fort Bend County, in order to break the domination of this Association in local politics and thereby enfrancise the Negro citizen. The concluding chapters of this study are devoted to the Courts which include the findings of the District Court, The Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The source of material for this study was rather limited. There are two lengthy histories of Fort Bend County which contain excellent material. Several unpublished theses have been written on the history, organization, and some of the activities of the Jaybird Democratic Association. The immense volume which contains the minutes of the Association, and which is carefully preserved, is an excellent and most interesting source of information. Personal interviews were an invaluable aid in preparing this study, particularly, those interviews held with the Negro people because their version of the part they play in this county political situation has never been recorded. The National Association for the Advancement of the Colored People has no part in this study, although most of the Negroes concerned are members of this organization. The action taken by these Negr people against the Jaybird Democratic Association was not sponsored or assisted by any organization; it remained a local problem from start to finish.



Jaybird Democratic Association, Fort Bend County