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Rough CountryHow Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159898

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159898.001.0001

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In Rough Country

In Rough Country

Bringing Order to the New Frontier

(p.14) Chapter 1 In Rough Country
Rough Country

Robert Wuthnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on a turbulent period in the late nineteenth century, as Texas was in the midst of one of the most important and hotly contested elections in its history. In compliance with an act of the U.S. Congress and by proclamation of President Ulysses S. Grant, the election ran from November 30 through December 3, 1869. It was held to determine whether the state would ratify a new constitution that complied with the Reconstruction laws of Congress and thus be reincorporated into the United States as a state in good standing. The situation was complicated by the murder of a well-respected businessman named B. W. Loveland. A witness claimed to have seen a black man in the vicinity of the store with what appeared to be bloodstains on his pants. Other witnesses claimed they had heard and seen nothing. Religion's place would be well illustrated both in the election itself and in the outcome of the Loveland murder investigation. Two members of the clergy in particular, one a white Methodist preacher and the other a black Baptist pastor, would quietly show the complex results that could occur when race and religion mingled with politics.

Keywords:   Texas, elections, Reconstruction, race, murder, politics, religion

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