LONG, RALPH (1843–1921). Ralph (Rafe) Long, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1868–69, was born in Tennessee in December 1843, probably the son of a white father and a black mother. The family of Davis M'Gee Prendergast reportedly took Long to Limestone County around 1846. Long was elected to the convention by voters from Limestone, Navarro, and Hill counties. He was one of nine black delegates in attendance. He voted for a proposal that would have divided Texas into more than one state, unsuccessfully proposed a resolution that voided debts incurred with Confederate currency or that resulted from the purchase of slaves, and supported measures that would have prevented voter fraud and intimidation. Delegates approved Long's resolution prohibiting firearms in the convention meeting hall. Long engaged in a brawl with another black delegate, Wiley Johnson, apparently because Johnson described Long as a "rebel." The convention refused to punish either participant. Long opposed the document drafted by the convention and signed a petition prepared by Edmund J. Davis, the convention's president and leader of the Radical Republicans. Davis and other radicals believed that the new constitution neither disfranchised former Confederates nor repudiated acts of the state's former Confederate government. Long engaged in land speculation during much of his life, worked as a farmer, and remained active in local Republican party politics after the constitutional convention, when he reportedly delivered political speeches from the bed of a wagon. Kate Long High School in Springfield was named for his wife. The couple were the parents of an adopted daughter. Long died on June 6, 1921.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Paul M. Lucko, "Long, Ralph," accessed May 05, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/flo73.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles