Library of Congress
TILLMAN, Benjamin Ryan (1847-1918)

TILLMAN, BENJAMIN RYAN, (brother of George Dionysius Tillman), a Senator from South Carolina; born near Trenton, Edgefield County, S.C., August 11, 1847; pursued an academic course; left school in 1864 to join the Confederate Army, but was stricken with a severe illness; engaged in agricultural pursuits; Governor of South Carolina 1890-1894; established Clemson College and Winthrop College while Governor; member of the State constitutional convention in 1895; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1894; reelected in 1901, 1907 and 1913 and served from March 4, 1895, until his death; censured by the Senate in 1902 after assaulting another Senator on the Senate floor; chairman, Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Fifty-seventh through Fifty-ninth Congresses), Committee on Five Civilized Tribes of Indians (Sixty-first and Sixty-second Congresses), Committee on Naval Affairs (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses); Tillman was known as "Pitchfork Ben" during his years in the Senate; died in Washington, D.C., July 3, 1918; interment in Ebenezer Cemetery, Trenton, S.C.

Clemson University
Special Collections
Clemson, SC
Papers: 1767-1950 (bulk 1890-1918). 45.5 cubic feet. Correspondence, diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, photographs, and other items relating to gubernatorial and senatorial service and family papers. Topics include silver question, regulation of monopolies and trusts, development of a strong U.S. Navy, Treaty of Paris, and the Philippine War. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Items in James C. Littlejohn Clemson College history collection, 1900-1961; and Henry S. Hartzog scrapbook, 1818-1971, on 1 microfilm reel.

Charleston Library Society
Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in Francis Warrington Dawson letters, 1881-1889.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1912. Autobiographical sketch and 1 letter.

South Carolina Department of Archives and History
Columbia, SC
Papers: 1890-1894. 37 feet and 5 letterbooks. Gubernatorial papers and photograph.

South Carolina Historical Society
Charleston, SC
Papers: Manuscript in Theodore Dehon Jervey papers, ca. 1881- ca. 1944.

University of South Carolina
South Caroliniana Library
Columbia, SC
Papers: 1865-1940. 15 items. Political correspondence, scrapbooks of clippings about his career and that of his brother, Congressman George Tillman, and an autobiographical sketch entitled "My Childhood Days.'' Also correspondence in John Gary Evans papers, 1793-1940; material on Henry C. Burn's support for Tillman in Burn family papers, 1740, 1854-1974; and in John Julius Dargan papers, 1785, 1877-1965.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in Paul B. Barringer papers, 1828-1963; and correspondence from Senator Thomas S. Martin explaining his fight with Tillman for the chair of U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee in Walter Scott Copeland papers, 1907-1928.

  • Clark, E. Culpepper. "Pitchfork Ben Tillman and the Emergence of Southern Demagoguery.'' Quarterly Journal of Speech 69 (November 1983): 423-33.
  • Dorgan, Howard. " `Pitchfork Ben' Tillman and `The Race Problem from a Southern Point of View'.'' In The Oratory of Southern Demagogues, edited by Cal M. Logue and Howard Dorgan, pp. 47-65. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981.
  • Eubanks, John Evans. Ben Tillman's Baby: The Dispensary System of South Carolina, 1892-1915. Augusta, GA: n.p., 1950.
  • Kantrowitz, Stephen. "Ben Tillman and Hendrix McLane, Agrarian Rebels: White Manhood, 'The Farmers,' and the Limits of Southern Populism." The Journal of Southern History Vol. LXVI, No. 3 (August 2000): 497-524.
  • Kantrowitz, Stephen. Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.
  • Kantrowitz, Stephen. "Youngest Living Carpetbagger Tells All: Or, How Regional Myopia Created 'Pitchfork Ben' Tillman." Southern Cultures 8 (2002): 18-37.
  • Mabry, William Alexander. "Ben Tillman Disfranchised the Negro.'' South Atlantic Quarterly 37 (April 1938): 170-83.
  • Neal, Diane. "Benjamin Ryan Tillman: The South Carolina Years, 1847-1894.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Kent State University, 1976.
  • Perkins, Lindsey S. "The Oratory of Benjamin Ryan Tillman.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 1945.
  • Robison, Daniel M. "From Tillman to Long: Some Striking Leaders of the Rural South.'' Journal of Southern History 3 (August 1937): 289-310.
  • Simkins, Francis Butler. "Ben Tillman's View of the Negro.'' Journal of Southern History 3 (May 1937): 161-74.
  • ___. Pitchfork Ben Tillman: South Carolinian. 1944. Reprint. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1967.
  • U.S. Congress. Benjamin Ryan Tillman. 65th Cong., 3d sess., 1918-1919. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919.