The 1870s: The Union League
The Union League, organized in 1863 in the North to support the policies of President Lincoln, established its first local council in Texas in 1865. A secret organization, it was primarily a political association. Members were to support only Republicans for public office. The League mobilized African-American voters. Many African-American legislators were at one time associated with the League. In addition to George Ruby, Texas's first state president, and Walter Burton, president of the Fort Bend County League, Representatives Richard Allen and Benjamin Williams had served as vice presidents of the Union League earlier in their careers. Due to in-fighting and to increasing suppression after Democrat Governor Coke's election in 1873, the League faded as a viable political force.