Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Richard L. Morton, a Virginia historian who lived in the early twentieth century, wrote, "the recrudescence of the race question has occurred in Virginia politics only in times of political stress, when the negro vote has been necessary to keep certain elements in power." Probably no more powerful example of Dr. Morton's words has occurred in the Old Dominion than that outbreak of passions between blacks and whites in the streets of Danville on November 3, 1883, only three days before the legislative election for the state was to take place.

In the pages of this thesis I will attempt to present a true description of Virginia Democrats struggling to claim the place of political prominence in view of the challenge of the Republicans who were still attempting to gain the confidence of the majority of the Virginia voters and the Readjusters, a new and strong third party of former Democrats.