Republican Congressional at Nomination - A Colored Man Chosen

September 23, 1870


To the dismay of many southern, white Conservatives, a black man has been nominated to represent the Republican party of Virginia.


The Republicans of the first congressional district held a Nominating Convention at West Point on Tuesday. There were forty delegates present, and the attendance of sympathizing spectators was large. The Convention was called to order by Jacob Cohm, chairman of the District Committee, and prayer was offered by Frederick S. Norton, colored member of the Legislature from James City. Rufus S. Jones, of Elizabeth City, was then chosen temporary chairman, and W. Wentworth, of Essex, secretary. A per- mament organization was afterwards ef- fected by the election of Mr. Jones as chair- man, and Senator Massey, or King William, as secretary. The principal candidates for the nomina- tion were Hon. R. Ayer, the present member from the district ; Or. Daniel M. Norton (colored), and Dr. W. W. Douglas, of Richmond county. It was soon appa- rent that the friends of Dr. Norton were largely in the majority, and his opponents thereupon endeavored by filibusterering mo- tions to prevent a nomination. This, how- ever, they were unable to do, and Dr. Norton received the nomination on the first ballot. The vote stood : Norton, 21 ; scattering, 19 Very much disgruntled at the result, thirteen members of the opposition, Including only two colored men, withdrew on some trivial pretext, and organizing a convention of their own, nominated Dr. Douglas as their standard-bearer. Those who remained in the hall sent a committee to wait on Dr. Morton, and he soon made his appearance and delivered a brief speech, in which he returned thanks for the honor, and pledged himself to use his best efforts in behalf of the Republican party on the floor of Congress or elsewhere. The Convention then appointed the fol- lowing District Executive Committee, and adjourned: Messrs. J. F. Hubbard, of York ; Wm. E. Crockett, of Elizabeth City county; T. E. Milstead, Warwick ; R. J. Jones, Elizabeth City : R. Norton. York ; J. S. Toy, North- ampton ; Isaac Morton, Caroline.
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Travis Terry




“Republican Congressional at Nomination - A Colored Man Chosen,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023,