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"Butler Color Blind," Raleigh News and Observer, June 17, 1900


"Butler Color Blind," Raleigh News and Observer, June 17, 1900


This brief article from the Democratic Raleigh News and Observer summarized the events which took place at a Republican convention in Morganton, North Carolina on June 16, 1900. In addition to making note of a “foul speech” given by Republican Congressman Romulus Linney, the piece accused Populist Senator Marion Butler of misrepresenting the proposed Suffrage Amendment, which the Democrats (and the News and Observer) supported. It also mocked the Senator, who was in the middle of a reelection campaign, for reportedly confusing a mulatto child for a white child during this speech. The final line of the article “Where is Jennett?” referenced political cartoonist Norman Jennett who was working for the paper during this campaign. Jennett responded with a corresponding cartoon in the very next issue.


Raleigh News and Observer


"Butler Color Blind," Raleigh News and Observer, June 17, 1900. Raleigh, NC: State University Libraries. Microfilm.




Glant, Erin




Raleigh, North Carolina
Wake County, North Carolina
Morganton, North Carolina

Original Format

Newspaper Article



Laments Over a Mulatto Kid Thinking He's White

The Amendment Disfranchises This Child, He Says. You Caught a Mulatto, Senator, Some One Replies.

(Special to News and Observer)

Morganton, N.C., June 16 - A small Republican convention here today nominated Collector Holly Burton for the House and left two places, sheriff and register for the so-called Populists. Linney made a foul speech, disgusting even white Republicans. Butler followed with a tissue of misrepresentations such as that McEnry thinks the amendment is unconstitutional. His speech was applauded by the negroes.

To illustrate the mournful fact that the ten-year-old boys would be disfranchised in ten years, he caught a child of fair complexion wearing a White Supremacy button in his arms and stood him on a table.

After he lamented over his pet for ten minutes, a white Democrat called out, "You have caught a mulatto," and it was true. Butler collapsed. Where is Jennett?


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Raleigh News and Observer, "Butler Color Blind," Raleigh News and Observer, June 17, 1900, Civil War Era NC, accessed March 20, 2018,