March 5, 1905
Gov. William Jelks returned to office after a period of tuberculosis treatment in New Mexico. The owner of the Eufaula Times and News, Jelks used his newspaper to build a broad political base and won election to the state Senate in 1898. In the Sqenate, he served as an outspoken advocate of white supremacy and a proponent of a constitutional convention aimed at disenfranchising poor whites and black voters, which he personally authorized after temporarily assuming the governorship in 1900. As governor from 1901 to 1907, Jelks used the position to support the 1901 Constitution, to restructure the state’s convict-lease system and to bolster the state’s treasury through a series of bond issues.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
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