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Willkie

Burgoyne Willkie

Burgoyne Willkie was the first Governor of Southern Vandalia after its creation in 1877. Willkie was the son of a manumitted slave and a self-taught lawyer.

The 1877 gubernatorial election was divided along racial lines, with the confederation's Negro majority voting for Willkie and its white minority voting for his opponent, and Willkie was never accepted socially by the Southern Vandalian whites. However, his administration was capable and fair, and when he ran for re-election in 1882 Willkie won 30% of the white vote. Willkie published his memoirs, Good Friends and Fair People, in 1895.

Sobel says that Willkie "is considered a tool of white oppressors by many militant Negroes, while at the same time honored by whites as a great man."

Sobel erroneously gives the dates of Willkie's elections as 1887 and 1892.


Sobel's sources for the political career of Burgoyne Willkie are Willkie's memoirs, published in Fort Lodge in 1895, and Chester Winslow's Willkie and the Rise of Black North America (New York, 1969).

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