Robert Brown Elliot, U.S. House of Representatives   Leave a comment


Robert Brown Elliott (1842–1884) was an African-American member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina, serving from 1871-1874.

 Early life and education

Robert Brown Elliott’s early life is a mystery. He claimed to have been born in Liverpool, England to West Indian immigrants, and to have graduated from Eton College. But, biographers have been unable to corroborate these facts.

 

Career

Elliott arrived in South Carolina in 1867 at the age of 25, where he established a law practice. Elliott helped organize the local Republican Party and served in the state constitutional convention.

In 1868 he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. The next year he was appointed assistant adjutant-general; he was the first African-American commanding general of the South Carolina National Guard. As part of his job, he helped form a state militia to fight the Ku Klux Klan.

Elliott was elected as a Republican to the Forty-second and Forty-third United States Congress. He “delivered a celebrated speech” in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1875.[1] He resigned on November 1, 1874, to fight political corruption in South Carolina. He served again in the South Carolina House of Representatives, where he was elected as Speaker of the House.

He ran successfully for South Carolina Attorney General in 1876. In the state elections that year, white Democrats regained dominance of the state legislature. The following year, 1877, when the last of the federal troops were withdrawn from South Carolina, he was forced out of office

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Posted February 19, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Uncategorized

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