"F" is for Farmers’ Alliance
"F" is for Farmers’ Alliance. Organized in Texas in the late 1870s, the National Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial Union, along with its counterpart the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance addressed the problems of debt and depressed commodity prices that confronted much of rural America. The first county Alliance in South Carolina appeared in 1887. By 1890 over one thousand suballiances existed in the state, which claimed more than 80,000 members, black and white. Attempts at various cooperative enterprises failed, so the Alliance turned to political action. With Alliance backing Ben Tillman was elected governor; the president of the state Alliance was elected to Congress, and more than one-third of the General Assembly were members. After being reelected in 1892 Tillman subsumed the state’s Alliance political identity into his Democratic Party faction—and the Farmers’ Alliance soon collapsed in South Carolina.