In 1868 and again in 1872, Florida’s Republican Party triumphed over a predominantly ex-Confederate Democratic opposition. The Republican majorities were greatly enhanced by the political organization of the Black Belt. Chief among the political organizers was carpetbagger Dennis Eagan, a native of Ireland, whose particular bailiwick was Madison County and whose political organization survived the debacle of 1876 and the demise of Reconstruction. As late as 1880, Eagan was still delivering sizeable majorities to Republican candidates when in most of the rest of Florida the party was becoming dormant. That majority, for the most part Negroes, was in effect keeping carpetbagger Horatio Bisbee, Jr., of Jacksonville, sole remaining Florida Republican to hold a major elective office, in Congress.
Williamson, Edward C.
"Black Belt Political Crisis: The Savage-James Lynching, 1882,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 45
, Article 7.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol45/iss4/7