'The Black man and his party'


This is perhaps the only likeness of William Cuffey that exists today. It is taken from an 1850 edition of a radical weekly journal, Reynolds’s Political Instructor, owned and largely written by another Chartist, George Reynolds.

Both Cuffey and Reynolds had spoken at the huge Chartist demonstration on Kennington Common in April 1848, at which plans to march on Westminster with the third Chartist petition had been abandoned after government pressure. The two men represented different aspects of Chartist methodology. Reynolds was a ‘moral force Chartist’ who did not believe in using violence, whereas Cuffey was a prominent ‘physical force Chartist’ and leader of the militant London Chartists - a group described by The Times as ‘the Black man and his party’.

Reynolds’s Political Instructor (13 April 1850)

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