Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BLACK, James, candidate for president of the United States, born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, 23 September 1823. He was educated at Lewisburg academy, was admitted to the bar in 1846, and practiced in Lancaster. He joined a temperance society in 1840, aided in organizing the sons of temperance in Lancaster city in 1846, and in 1852 was chairman of a county committee appointed to secure the election of members of the legislature favorable to the enactment of a prohibitory liquor-law in Pennsylvania. He took a leading part in the organization of the good templars, was the delegate that presented to President Lincoln in 1864 the memorial praying for the abolition of the whiskey ration, and was the author of the " cider tract." In February 1867, as chairman of the committee on resolutions in a temperance convention held in Harrisburg, he first advanced the proposition to form a distinct temperance party. He became president of the Pennsylvania state temperance union, organized at the same convention, was one of the committee that called a national convention to organize a prohibition party, and was elected president of the convention, which met in Chicago, 1 September 1869. The nominating convention that was held in Columbus, Ohio, on 22 February 1872, made him the first nominee of the party for president of the United States, the Rev. John Russell, of Michigan, receiving the nomination for vice-president. The ticket received 5,608 votes at the polls. In 1876 he was chairman of the executive committee of the party, then called the national prohibition reform party. Mr. Black was originator of the scheme to establish a temperance publication society, and drew up the constitution of the national temperance society and publication house. He is the author of "Is there a Necessity for a Prohibition Party?" (Philadelphia, 1876); "A History of the Prohibition Party" (1880); and "The Prohibition Party" (1885).
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