James Thomas Heflin was born in April 1869 and died in April 1951. He was nicknamed "Cotton Tom" (probably due to his racist views) and was a leading proponent of white supremacy, most notably as a United States Senator from Alabama.
Heflin managed to exclude black Alabamans from voting, stating that "God Almighty intended the negro to be the servant of the white man." Heflin supported cases in which African-Americans were illegally convicted of crimes and then sold to farmers or industrialists. He also protested against New York State's permission of racial intermarriage.
In 1904, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Four years later, while a member of the House, he shot and seriously wounded a black man who confronted him. Although indicted, Heflin had the charges dismissed, and bragged of the shooting as one of his major career accomplishments.