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The Postmistress – Part 1

July 20, 2017

The postmistress and her husband were “well-to-do, and were quite heavy taxpayers.”  That’s what the President wrote to his friend.  He further characterized her as “kindly, humble, and respectable,” adding that “The best people of the town liked her.”

What exactly did he mean by “the best people?”  Why, none other than “the two bankers of the town,” one of whom was a state senator from the other political party.  Surely there would be no problem if the President were to reappoint the postmistress.  This the President did, and he received the support of both U.S. Senators from that state.  They too were members of the other political party.  Her reappointment was indeed a demonstration of bipartisanship.

So far so good, especially when we consider that the postmistress was black and the story took place in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era.  Here was a community where the content of one’s character rather than the color of one’s skin prevailed.  Here was an oasis of opportunity for all people.  Word was bound to get out, and when it did, good people were bound to move there.

One day a new physician arrived in town.  Shortly afterwards the trouble began.

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