In this reading the U.S. Congress debates the 14th amendment to the Consititution, which grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including former slaves recently freed.
When the Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791, the liberties it provided were withheld from the hundreds of thousands of Africans living in slavery. In a public letter to Thomas Jefferson, a free African-American Benjamin Banneker challeneged the treatment of blacks and the continued existence of slavery.
Accounts from the crisis that unfolds in Little Rock, Arkansas when black students attend the previously all-white Central High School. Accounts from the crisis that unfolds in Little Rock, Arkansas when black students attend the previously all-white Central High School.
As the 1874 campaign for governor and state legislature began in Alabama, the Pike County Democratic Party’s platform gave supporters this guidance for how to treat white Republicans.
State Senator Charles Caldwell was a former slave who had led a company of African American soldiers, earlier in 1875, in a state militia formed to protect freedpeople from the White Line. The militia was later disbanded by the governor as part of a “peace agreement” with the White Line, but attacks and intimidation continued, and Caldwell himself was assassinated later that year. Eugene Welborne, who served as Caldwell’s first lieutenant in the militia, gave this account of election day in November 1875 in Clinton, Mississippi, and Caldwell’s efforts to ensure a fair vote.
This is an excerpt from a January 1866 Freedmen’s Bureau report on the "wonderful state" of education for freedpeople in the South, written by Freedmen’s Bureau inspector John W. Alvord.
In January 1865, General Sherman acted on the testimony of the freedpeople of Savannah, Georgia (see the document “Savannah Freedpeople Express Their Aspirations for Freedom,” Handout 3.2), by issuing Special Field Order 15. The field order divided up land abandoned by Southern planters along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and gave it to freedpeople in 40-acre plots.