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Rep. J. O’H. Patterson: Wanted Jim Crow House restaurant: 1907 | by Washington Area Spark
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Rep. J. O’H. Patterson: Wanted Jim Crow House restaurant: 1907

Rep. James O’Hanlon Patterson (D-S.C.) studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1886. He commenced practice in Barnwell, South Carolina.


Patterson was a probate judge of Barnwell County, South Carolina 1888–1892 and a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives 1899–1904.


He was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-ninth, Sixtieth, and Sixty-first Congresses (March 4, 1905 – March 3, 1911).


While in Washington, D.C. he was outraged by an interracial couple that was seated in the House of Representatives public restaurant.


“However I refrained, by an effort, from making an unseemly exhibition of myself and sought the manager of the restaurant for an explanation.”


“To my astonishment, he told me that the portion of the restaurant set aside for the general public was free to anybody who wished to be served, regardless of color and that he was powerless to prevent such an exhibition of social equality as that which so enraged me.”


He was unsuccessful at that time in imposing Jim Crow within the U.S. Capitol. That would occur a few years after he left Congress in 1911.


After leaving Congress, he resumed the practice of his profession in Barnwell, South Carolina where he died on October 25, 1911.


For a detailed blog post on Jim Crow at the U.S. Capitol restaurants, see


For related images, see


The photographer is unknown. The image is from Volume 3 of 1908's Men of Mark in South Carolina, 1908.

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Taken sometime in 1908