“Pitchfork Ben” Tillman was a fiery defender of segregation from South Carolina in the U.S. Senate. During Reconstruction, he was a leader of the Sweetwater Sabre Club, which attacked local Republican officials in an attempt to regain control of the South after the Civil War. He participated in the Hamburg riots, which killed several black soldiers. At a time when many white farmers were afraid of the onslaught of black voters, he was able to successfully disenfranchise the black vote at the 1895 constitutional convention. In his 23-year Senate career, he helped institutionalize segregation. One biographer writes that Tillman “fatally undermined the possibility of the development of a race-neutral language of manhood and citizenship.” He was censured by the Senate in 1902 for assaulting his fellow Senator from South Carolina.