James F. Byrnes

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Whatever is necessary to continue the separation of the races in the schools of South Carolina is going to be done by the white people of the state. That is my ticket as a private citizen. It will be my ticket as governor.

James F. Byrnes [42]

Byrnes was initially seen as a relative moderate on race issues. Recognizing that the South could not continue with its entrenched segregationist policies much longer but fearing that Congress would impose sweeping change upon the South, he opted for a course of change from within. To that end, he sought to fulfill at last the "separate but equal" policy that the South had put forward in Supreme Court civil rights cases, particularly in regard to public education. Byrnes poured state money into improving black schools, buying new textbooks and new buses, and hiring additional teachers. He also sought to curb the power of the Ku Klux Klan by passing a law that prohibited adults from wearing a mask in public on any day other than Halloween; he knew that many Klansmen feared exposure and would not appear in public in their robes unless their faces were hidden as well. Byrnes hoped to make South Carolina an example for other Southern states to follow in modifying their "Jim Crow" policies. Nonetheless, the NAACP sued South Carolina to force the state to desegregate its schools. Byrnes requested Kansas, a Midwestern state that also segregated its schools, to provide an amicus curiae brief in supporting the right of a state to segregate its schools. That gave the NAACP's lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, the idea to shift the suit from South Carolina over to Kansas, which led directly to Brown v. Board of Education , a decision that Byrnes vigorously criticized.

The South Carolina Constitution then barred governors from immediate re-election and so Byrnes retired from active political life after the 1954 election.

Later political career

In his later years, Byrnes foresaw that the American South could play a more important role in national politics. To hasten that development, he sought to end the region's nearly-automatic support of the Democratic Party, which Byrnes believed had grown too liberal and took the "Solid South" for granted at election time but otherwise ignored the region and its needs.

Byrnes endorsed Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, segregationist candidate Harry Byrd in 1956, Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968, and Barry Goldwater in 1964. [43] He gave his private blessing to US Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina to bolt the Democratic Party in 1964 and to declare himself a Republican, but Byrnes himself remained a Democrat.

In 1965, Byrnes spoke out against the "punishment" and the "humiliation" of South Carolina US Representative Albert Watson, who had been stripped of his congressional seniority by the House Democratic Caucus after endorsing Goldwater for president. Byrnes openly endorsed Watson's retention in Congress as a Republican in a special election held in 1965 against Democrat Preston Callison. Watson secured $20,000 and the services of a Republican field representative in what he termed "quite a contrast" to his treatment from Democratic House colleagues. [44] [45]

Following Byrnes's death at the age of 89, he was interred in the churchyard at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbia, South Carolina.

Legacy

Byrnes is memorialized at several South Carolina universities and schools:

In 1948, Byrnes and his wife established the James F. Byrnes Foundation Scholarships, and since then, more than 1,000 young South Carolinians have been assisted in obtaining a college education. His papers are in Clemson University's Special Collections Library.

Electoral history

See also

Footnotes

  1. 1 2 "Justices 1789 to Present". Washington, D.C.: Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  2. "The Ku Klux Klan | National Geographic Society". education.nationalgeographic.org. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  3. David Robertson, Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes (1994), p. 126
  4. "Do You Know Your Charleston?". Charleston News & Courier. p. 8. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  5. "Governor of the State of South Carolina - James Francis Byrnes, Jr". Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  6. Ransom, William L. (1944). "Frank J. Hogan, 1877-1944". ABA Journal. 30 (7): 393–395. JSTOR   25714990.
  7. James L. Underwood (December 15, 2013). Deadly Censorship. The University of South Carolina Press. p. Note 4. ISBN   978-1-61117-300-0. Archived from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  8. "SC Governors - James Francis Byrnes, 1951 - 1955". SCIWAY. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Byrnes, James Francis". Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. Office of the Clerk. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  10. 1 2 "Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina. Part II." Reports of State Officers Boards and Committees to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume I. Columbia, SC: 1925, p. 59.
  11. Pope, Thomas H. The History of Newberry County, South Carolina: 1860–1990. p. 110
  12. "Supplemental Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports of State Officers Boards and Committees to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume I. Columbia, SC: 1931, p. 3.
  13. Lee, Joseph Edward (April 1995). "Book Reviews and Notes - Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes". South Carolina Historical Magazine. South Carolina Historical Society. 96 (2): 174–176. JSTOR   27570082.
  14. Those Angry Days by Lynn Olson pg. 103
  15. Walter Francis White#Anti-Lynching Legislation
  16. Sean Dennis Cashman (January 1, 1989). America in the Twenties and Thirties: The Olympian Age of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. NYU Press. pp. 271–. ISBN   978-0-8147-7208-9. Archived from the original on February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  17. 1 2 "ELECTIONS: Curtains for Cotton Ed". Time. August 7, 1944. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008.
  18. 1 2 Storrs, Landon R. Y. (2000). Civilizing Capitalism: The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era. Univ of North Carolina Press. ISBN   978-0-8078-4838-8. Archived from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  19. Simon, Bryant. A fabric of defeat: the politics of South Carolina millhands, 1910–1948, p. 208-210
  20. 1 2 Simon, Bryant. A fabric of defeat: the politics of South Carolina millhands, 1910–1948, p. 212
  21. McMillion, Barry J. (January 28, 2022). Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2020: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  22. Bialick, Kristen; Gramlich, John (February 8, 2017). "Younger Supreme Court appointees stay on the bench longer, but there are plenty of exceptions". Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  23. Wallace, David Duncan. South Carolina: A Short History (University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 1951) p. 677.
  24. "| Economic History Services". Eh.net. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  25. Research & Articles on Economy, World War II by. BookRags.com. Archived from the original on April 28, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  26. 1 2 "Economy in World War II: Home Front". Shmoop.com. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  27. 1 2 Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, pp. 189-90, 247, 330, Random House, New York, NY. ISBN   978-1-4000-6964-4.
  28. 1 2 LeRoy Ashby (September 2, 2012). "American Dreamer: The life and times of Henry A. Wallace". The Journal of American History. Jah.oxfordjournals.org. 88 (4): 1586. doi:10.2307/2700719. JSTOR   2700719.
  29. Reynolds, David (2009). Summits: Six Meetings That Shaped the Twentieth Century. New York: Basic Books. pp. 146-147. ISBN   0-7867-4458-8. OCLC   646810103.
  30. Messer, Robert L. (1982). The End of an Alliance: James F. Byrnes, Roosevelt, Truman, and the Origins of the Cold War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. p. 13. ISBN   0-8078-7921-5. Cited in reliance on citation in Lifton, Robert J.; Mitchell, Greg (1995). Hiroshima in America, Fifty Years of Denial. G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 136 (footnote, Byrnes "as a kindly 'older brother' to Truman" in the Senate). ISBN   0-399-14072-7.
  31. Gar Alperovitz, "The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb" (New York: Vintage Books, 1996)
  32. 1 2 3 4 McCullough, David (1992). Truman . New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 352.
  33. "A revealing moment during Byrnes' swearing-in ceremony as secretary of state offers insight into the relationship [between President Harry S. Truman and Byrnes]: The diary of Byrnes' friend and assistant Walter Brown records that 'when the oath was completed, the President said, "Jimmy, kiss the Bible." He did and then handed it over to the President and told him to kiss it, too. The President did so as the crowd laughed l ..." Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, p. 197).
  34. Spector, Ronald H. (2007). In the ruins of empire : the Japanese surrender and the battle for postwar Asia (1st ed.). New York. pp. 4, 5. ISBN   978-0-375-50915-5.
  35. Robert H. Ferrell (1994). Harry S. Truman: A Life. University of Missouri Press. pp.  236–237. ISBN   978-0-8262-6045-1.
  36. Harry S. Truman (1980). Ferrell, Robert H. (ed.). Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman . Harper & Row. p. 17. ISBN   978-0-8262-1119-4.
  37. "Joint Statement by James F. Byrnes and Ernest Bevin (3 December 1946)". March 7, 2015.
  38. Curtis Franklin Morgan Jr, James F. Byrnes, Lucius Clay and American Policy in Germany, 1945-1947 (Edwin Mellen Press, 2002).
  39. Stone, David R. (2006). "The 1945 Ethridge Mission to Bulgaria and Romania and the origins of the Cold War in the Balkans". Diplomacy and Statecraft. 17 (1): 93–112. doi:10.1080/09592290500533775. S2CID   155033071.
  40. Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, Vol. 1: Years of Decision (1955), p.547, 550, cited in George Lenczowski, American Presidents and the Middle East, p.10
  41. Truman, Memoirs, Vol. 1: Years of Decision (1955), p.551–552, cited in Lenczowski, American Presidents, p.11
  42. Bruce Bartlett (January 8, 2008). Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past. St. Martin's Press. pp. 51–. ISBN   978-0-230-61138-2. Archived from the original on February 24, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  43. Lamis, Alexander (1988). The Two-Party South. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 15–16.
  44. Billy Hathorn, "The Changing Politics of Race: Congressman Albert William Watson and the South Carolina Republican Party, 1965-1970", South Carolina Historical Magazine Vol. 89 (October 1988), p. 230
  45. Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, Vol. 23 (June 18, 1965), p. 1185; Bernard Cosman and Robert J. Huckshorn, eds., Republican Politics: The 1964 Campaign and Its Aftermath for the Party (New York: Praeger, 1968), pp. 147–148

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References

Primary sources

  • Byrnes, James. Speaking Frankly (1947)
  • Byrnes, James. All in One Lifetime (1958).

Further reading

James F. Byrnes
James F. Byrnes cph.3c32232.jpg
104th Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 16, 1951 January 18, 1955
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd congressional district

1911–1925
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from South Carolina
(Class 2)

1930, 1936
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of South Carolina
1950
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from South Carolina
1931–1941
Served alongside: Ed Smith
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Senate Contingent Expenses Audit Committee
1933–1941
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
1941–1942
Succeeded by
Political offices
New office Director of the Office of Economic Stabilization
1942–1943
Succeeded by
Director of the Office of War Mobilization
1943–1945
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Secretary of State
1945–1947
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of South Carolina
1951–1955
Succeeded by