J. William Stokes

U.S. Congressperson

1853 – 1901

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Who was J. William Stokes?

James William Stokes was a U.S. Representative from South Carolina.

Born near Orangeburg, South Carolina, Stokes attended the common schools and was graduated from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, in 1876. He taught school for 12 years.

He was graduated in medicine from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. He engaged in agricultural pursuits in 1889. He served as president of the State Farmers' Alliance.

He served as member of the South Carolina Senate in 1890. He served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1892.

He was defeated by the African-American George W. Murray for election in 1892 to the Fifty-third Congress, but was successful in the 1894 election. He presented credentials as a Democratic Member-elect to the Fifty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1895, to June 1, 1896, when the seat was declared vacant.

Stokes was elected as Democrat in a special election to fill the vacancy thus caused. In 1895, South Carolina ratified a new constitution that disfranchised black voters. It became a one-party, Democratic state, with contests settled in the primaries. This situation continued until passage of federal civil rights legislation in the 1960s, following the African-American moral struggle for their constitutional rights as citizens.

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Born
Dec 12, 1853
Orangeburg
Profession
Education
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Washington and Lee University
Died
Jul 6, 1901
Orangeburg

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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