The reconstruction period was the most innovative period of American history. It only lasted ten short years. The Redemptionists aka white population, murdered and terrorized the black population and eliminated most of them from office and any position of power. One of...
The reconstruction period was the most innovative period of American history. It only lasted ten short years. The Redemptionists aka white population, murdered and terrorized the black population and eliminated most of them from office and any position of power. One of the great legacies of the black politicians that survived is the public school system. Before than, the only children of white elite''s were educated or sent to private school. At that time, the majority of the citizens where illiterates. Black folks were illiterate because it was against the law to teach a slave how to read.
Please bear with me here y''all. I try not to write to many long, drawn out reviews. This one of them. I have included a few excerpts that touched me in some way. I highly recommend this book for history buffs.
These are the words of Congressman James T. Rapier of Alabama:
"I affirm, without fear of contradiction, that any white ex-convict may start with me today to Montgomery. All the way down he will be treated as a gentleman, while I will be treated as the convict. He will be allowed to berth in a sleeping-car while I will be forced into a dirty rough box with he drunkards, apple-sellers, railroad hands. Sentinels are placed at the doors of the better coaches with instructions to keep persons of color out. If we are compelled to lay over, the best bed in the hotel is his if he can pay for it, while I am turned away, hungry and cold and cold, to stand around the railroad station until the departure of the next train. There is not an inn between Washington and Montgomery, a distance of more than a thousand miles, that will accommodate me to a bed or meal.
Some time since a well-dressed colored man was traveling from Augusta to Montgomery. The train stopped at a dinner-house. The crowd around the depot, seeing him well-dressed, fine-looking, concluded he must be a gentleman and straightway commenced to abuse him. And, sir, he had to go into the baggage-car, open his trunks, show his cards, faro-bank, dice etc, before they would give him any peace. He was forced to give evidence that he was not working to elevate the Negro before they would respect him.
Sir, in order that I might know something of the feelings of a freeman, a privilege denied me in the land of my birth, I left home last year and traveled six months in foreign lands. The moment I put my foot upon the deck of a ship that unfurled a foreign flag, distinctions on account of color ceased. I am not aware that my presence on board the steamer put her off her course. We made the trip in the usual time. In other countries than my own I was not a stranger. I could approach a hotel without the fear that the door would be slammed in my face. Sir, I feel this humiliation very keenly; it dwarfs my manhood and impairs my usefulness as a citizen." Congressman James T. Rapier of Alabama, Congressional Record, 43rd Congress, 1st session
The following excerpts that made me laugh. Also note that Robert Smalls was the Congressman to South Carolina:
Robert Smalls said to the women that if their husbands vote the Democratic ticket to throw them out of the house. "When John went to Massa Hampton and pledged to vote for him his wife told him, `She would not give him any of the thing if you vote for Hampton.'' John gone back to Massa Hampton and said, `Massa Hampton, I can''t vote for you, for woman is too sweet, and my wife says if I vote for you she won''t give me any.'' And ladies, I think if you all do that we won''t have a Democratic ticket polled on Parris Island." (These are the words of Robert Smalls).
These are the words from the Freedmen and women of colored people of the Choctaw and Chicksaw nations:
"Although freed from slavery by the result of the late war, we enjoy few, if any, of the benefits of freedom. Being deprived of every political right, we are still wholly in the power of our late masters, who were almost a unit on the side of the rebellion against the government, and who, from having been compelled to relinquish their ownership in us, regard our presence among them with no favorable eye. That we, under these circumstances and in our helpless condition, have suffered, and still do sufffer, many ills and outrages, even to the loss of many a life, is a notorious fact."
The New Era, March 31, 1870.
"The colored people that were held as slaves by the Indians until freed by the 13th Amendment are uneasy about their status. Their position is an anomalous one. They are not enumerated or claimed as members of any tribe and they are must disturbed the rumors that they will have to leave the Territory. They have determined to pick out their land and claim equal rights with the Indians and all tribal property." The New National Era March 2, 1872
"The Choctaw Legislative Council has just adjourned. In the Treaty of 1866, Congress agreed to give the Choctaws $300,000 for strip of country known as the leased district provided the Choctaws would, within two years, adopt into the nation and make citizens of about three thousand Negroes, formerly their slaves, and give forty acres of land to each individual. The time expired without action being taken and from Council to Council the Government has extended the time. So strong is the prejudice against allotting their lands that they have again refused to pass the act of adoption." The New National Era and Citizen, November 13, 1873
Again I apologized for this long review. I highly recommend this book.