William Thomas Scott (1839–1917) was an entrepreneur and political activist from East Saint Louis and Cairo, Illinois, who in 1904 briefly became the first African American nominated by a national party for president of the United States before his scandalous past forced him to step aside. A free man before the Civil War, Scott was a charismatic hustler who built his fortune through both vice trades and legal businesses including hotels, saloons, and real estate. Publisher and editor of the Cairo Gazette and an outspoken advocate for equal rights, he believed in political patronage and frequently rebelled against political bosses who failed to deliver, whether they were white, black, Republican, or Democrat.
Rights: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
Acquisition Note: Source: Gift.
Preferred Citation: [Item], Bruce Mouser's Research files on William Thomas Scott, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Collection Material Type: Manuscripts
Other Note: Bruce Mouser, A Black Gambler’s World of Liquor, Vice, and Presidential Politics: William Thomas Scott of Illinois, 1839–1917 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014)
Scope and Contents: This collection consists of newspaper clippings, research articles and internet searches used for the publication of Bruce Mouser's A Black Gambler’s World of Liquor, Vice, and Presidential Politics: William Thomas Scott of Illinois, 1839–1917 (2014).