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UON History Lecture Notes Voices of Freedom Paper

L__
VOICES OF
FREEDOM
A Ilocunentarj
Histor9
Fourth Edition
Volume
2
D
CHAPTER
15
nW~at I~ rr~~~~mr:
H~~on~tru~ti~n,
U~~-U11
94. Petition of Black Residents of Nashville
(1865)
Source: Newspaper clipping enclosed in Col. R. D. MU5sey to Capt.
e. P. Brown, January 23, 1865, Letters ReceilJed, ser. 925. Department
of the Cumberland, U.S. Anny Continental Commands, National Archiues.
At the request
of military
governor Andrew
Tennessee from the Emancipation
Johnson, Lincoln exempted
Proclamation
of r863 (although
many
slaves in the state gained their freedom by serving in the Union army).
In January I865, a state convention
was held to complete the work of
abolition. A group of free blacks of Nashville
gates, asking for immediate
sent a petition to the dele-
action to end slavery and granting black
men the right to vote (which free blacks had enjoyed in the state until
1835).The document
emphasized
ral right to freedom,
and their willingness
of citizenship.
The document
their loyalty to the Union, their natuto take on the responsibilities
offers a revealing
sciousness at the dawn of Reconstruction.
I
snapshot of black con-
2
Voices
To THE UNION
CONVENTION
of Freedom
OF TENNESSEE
CAPITOL AT NASHVIllE,
We the undersigned
petitioners,
descent, natives and residents
ASSEMBLED IN THE
JANUARY 9TH, 1865:
American
citizens
of African
of Ten nessee, and devoted friends of
the great National cause, do most respectfu1ly ask a patient hearing
of your honorable body in regard to matters
future condition of our unfortunate
deeply
and long suffering
affecting the
race.
First of all, however, we would say that words are too weak to tell
how profoundly grateful we are to the Federal Government
good work of freedom which it is gradually carrying
the Emancipation Proclamation
for the
forward; and for
which has set free all the slaves in
some of the rebellious States, as well as many of the slaves in Tennessee.
After two hundred
years of bondage and suffering
sense of justice has awakened
a returning
the great body of the American peo-
ple to make amends for the unprovoked wrongs committed
us for over two hundred years.
against
Your petitioners would ask you to complete the work begun by
the nation at large, and abolish the last vestige
express words of your organic law.
of slavery by the
Many masters in Tennessee whose slaves have left them, will certainly make every effort to bring them back to bondage
after the
reorganization of the State government, unless slavery be expressly
abolished by the Constitution.
We hold that freedom is the natural right of all men, which they
themselves have no more right to give or barter away, than they
have to sell their honor, their wives, or their children.
We claim to be men belonging to the great human family,
descended from one great God, who is the common Father of all, and
who bestowed on all races and tribes the priceless right of freedom.
Of this right, for no offence of ours, we have long been cruelly
deprived, and the common voice of the wise and good of all coun-
tries, has remonstrated against our enslavement, as one of the greatest crimes in all history.
3
“What Is Freedom?”
We claim freedom,
and co-operation
as our natural right, and ask that in harmony
with the nation at large, you should cut up by the
roots the system of slavery, which is not only a wrong to us, but the
source of all the evil which at present afflicts the State. For slavery,
corrupt itself, corrupted
influenced nearly
nearly all, also, around it, so that it has
all the slave States to rebel against the Federal
Government, in order to set up a government
of pirates under which
slavery might be perpetrated.
In the contest between the nation and slavery, our unfortunate
people have sided, by instinct, with the former. We have little fortune to devote to the national cause, for a hard fate has hitherto
forced us to live in poverty, but we do devote to its success, our hopes,
our toils, our whole heart, our sacred honor, and our lives. We will
work, pray, live, and, if need be, die for the Union, as cheerfully
ever a white patriot
as
died for his country. The color of our skin does
not lesson in the least degree, our love either for God or for the land
of our birth.
We are proud to point your honorable body to the fact, that so far
as our knowledge
extends, not a negro traitor has made his appear-
ance since the begining of this wicked rebellion ….
Devoted as we are to the principles of justice, of love to all men,
and of equal rights on which our Government
is based, and which
make it the hope of the world. We know the burdens of citizenship,
and are ready to bear them. We know the duties of the good citizen,
and are ready to perform them cheerfully,
in a position in which we can discharge
do not ask for the privilege of citizenship,
and would ask to be put
them more effectually. We
wishing to shun the obli-
gations imposed by it.
Near 200,000 of our brethren are to-day performing military duty
in the ranks of the Union army. Thousands
of them have already died
in battle, or perished by a cruel martyrdom
for the sake of the Union,
and we are ready and willing to sacrifice more. But what higher order
of citizen is there than the soldier? or who has a greater trust confided
to his hands? If we are called on to do military duty against
the
Voices
4
of Freedom
rebel armies in the field, why should we be denied the privilege of
voting against rebel citizens at the ballot-box? The latter is as necessary to save the Government
as the former ….
This is not a Democratic Government
industrious,
if a numerous,
law-abiding,
and useful class of citizens, born and bred on the soil,
are to be treated as aliens and enemies, as an inferior degraded class,
who must have no voice in the Government
which
they support,
protect and defend, with all their heart, soul, mind, and body, both
in peace and war.
Questions
Why do the petitioners place so much emphasis on their loyalty to the
Union cause during the war?
I.
“,
What understanding of American history and the nation’s future do the
petitioners convey?
2.
95. Petition of Committee on Behalf of the
Freedmen to Andrew Johnson (1865)
Source: Henry Bram et al. to the President of the United States, October 28,
1865, P-27, 1865. Letters Received (series IS), Washington Headquarters,
Freedmen’s Bureau Papers. National Archives.
June r865, some 40,000 freedpeople had been settled on “Sherman
land” in South Carolina and Georgia, in accordance with Special Field
Order IS- That summer, however, President Andrew Johnson, who
had succeeded Lincoln, ordered nearly all land in federal hands
returned to its former owners. In October, o. O. Howard, head of the
Freedmen’s Bureau, traveled to the Sea Islands to inform blacks of the
new policy.
By
“What Is Freedom?”
5
Howard was greeted with disbelief and protest. A committee drew up
petitions to Howard and President Johnson. Their petition to the president pointed out that the government had encouraged them to occupy
the land and affirmed that they were ready to purchase it if given the
opportunity. Johnson rejected the former slaves’ plea. And, throughout
the South, because no land distribution took place, the vast majority
of rural freedpecple remained poor and without property during
Reconstruction.
EDISTO
ISLAND S.c. Oct 28th, r865.
To the President of these United States. We the freedmen of Edisto
Island South Carolina have learned From you through Major General
00 Howard commissioner
of the Freedmans
row and Painful hearts of the possibility
Bureau. with deep sor-
of government restoring
These lands to the former owners. We are well aware Of the many
perplexing and trying questions that burden Your mind, and do therefore pray to god (the preserver of all and who has through our Late and
beloved President (Lincoln) proclamation
and the war made Us A free
people) that he may guide you in making Your decisions, and give you
that wisdom that Cometh from above to settle these great and Important Questions for the best interests of the country and the Colored
race:Here is where secession was born and Nurtured Here is were we
have toiled nearly all Our lives as slaves and were treated like dumb
Driven cattle, This is our home, we have made These lands what they
are. we were the only true and Loyal people that were found in posession of these Lands. we have been always ready to strike for Liberty and
humanity yea to fight if needs be To preserve
this glorious union.
Shan not we who Are freedman and have been always true to this
Union have the same rights as are enjoyed by Others? Have we broken
any Law of these United States? Have we forfieted our rights of property
In Land7-if not then! are not our rights as A free people and good citizens of these United States To be considered before the rights of those
who were Found in rebellion against this good and just Government
6
Voices
of Freedom
(and now being conquered) come (as they Seem) with penitent hearts
and beg forgiveness For past offences and also ask if their lands Cannot
be restored to them are these rebellious Spirits to be reinstated in their
possessions And we who have been abused and oppressed For many long
years not to be allowed the Privilege of purchasing
land But be sub-
ject To the will of these large Land owners? God forbid, Land monopoly is injurious to the advancement
Government
of the course of freedom, and if
Does not make Some provision by which we as Freed-
men can obtain A Homestead, we have Not bettered our condition.
We have been encouraged
by Government to take Up these lands
in small tracts, receiving Certificates of the same-we
Taken Sixteen thousand
have thus far
(r6000) acres of Land here on This Island.
We are ready to pay for this land When Government
calls for it. and
now after What has been done will the good and just government
take from us all this right and make us Subject to the will of those
who have cheated and Oppressed
us for many years God Forbid I
We the freedmen of this Island and ofthe State of South CarolinaDo therefore petition to you as the President of these United States,
that some provisions be made by which Every colored man can purchase land. and Hold it as his own. We wish to have A home if It be
but A few acres. without Some provision is Made our future is sad to
look upon. yess our Situation is dangerous. we therefore
look to you
In this trying hour as A true friend of the poor and Neglected race. for
protection
and Equal Rights. with the privilege
Homestead-A
of purchasing
A
Homestead right here in the Heart of South Carolina.
We pray that God will direct your heart in Making such provision
for us as freedmen which Will tend to united these states together
stronger Than ever before-May
God bless you in the Administration of your duties as the President Of these United
humble prayer Of us all.In behalf of the Freedmen
Committee
Henry Bram
Ishmael Moultrie.
yates. Sampson
States is the
UWhat
Is Freedom?”
7
Questions
I.
is it for the petitioners
How important
as opposed to elsewhere
2.
What do they think
to obtain land on Edisto Island,
in the country?
is the relationship
between
owning land and free-
dom?
96. The Mississippi Black Code (1865)
Source; Walter L. Fleming, ed.; Documentary History of Reconstruction
(Cleveland, 1906-19°7), Vol. 1, pp. 281-90.
During 1865, Andrew
tion, establishing
Johnson put into effect his own plan of Reconstruc-
procedures
whereby new governments,
elected by white
voters only, would be created in the South. Among the first laws passed by
the new governments
were the Black Codes, which attempted to regulate
the lives of the former slaves. These laws granted
rights, such as legal ized marriage, ownership
the freed people certain
of property, and limited
access to the courts. But they denied them the right to testify in court
in cases that only involved
to vote. And in response
whites, serve on juries or in state militias, or
to planters’ demands that the freedpeople be
required to work on the plantations,
the Black Codes declared that those
who failed to sign yearly labor contracts could be arrested and hired out to
white landowners.
The Black Codes indicated how the white South would
regulate black freedom
if given a free hand by the federal government.
they so completely violated
Johnson’s Reconstruction
free labor principles
policy among northern
VAGRANT
Sec.2 …. All freedmen,
But
that they discredited
Republicans.
LAw
free negroes and mulattoes
in this State. over
the age of eighteen years, found on the second Monday in [anuary,
8
Voices
1866, orthereafter,
of Freedom
with no lawful employment
or business, or found
unlawfully assembling themselves together, either in the dayornight
time, and all white persons so assembling themselves
free negroes or mulattoes,
negroes or mulattoes,
fornication
with freedmen,
or usually associating with freedmen, free
on terms of equality, or living in adultery or
with a freed woman,
deemed vagrants, and on conviction
free negro or mulatto,
shall be
thereof shall be fined in a sum
not exceeding, in the case of a freedman, free negro, or mulatto, fifty
dollars, and a white man two hundred dollars, and imprisoned at the
discretion of the court, the free negro not exceeding
the white man not exceeding six months ….
Sec. 7·· .. If any freedman,
ten days, and
free negro, or mulatto shall failorrefuse
to pay any tax levied according
to the provisions of the sixth section
of this act, it shall be primafacieevidence
of vagrancy,
and it shall be
the duty of the sheriff to arrest such freedman, free negro, or mulatto
or such person refusing or neglecting to pay such tax, and proceed
at once to hire for the shortest
time such delinquent
tax-payer to any
one who will pay the said tax, with accruing costs, giving preference
to the employer, if there be one.
ClVlL RIGHTS OF FREEDMEN
Sec.
1. …
That all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes
may sue and
be sued, implead and be impleaded, in all the courts oflaw and equity
of this State, and may acquire personal property, and chases inaction,
by descent or purchase, and may dispose of the same in the same
manner and to the same extent that white persons may: Provided,That
the provisions of this section shall not be so construed
freedman, free negro, or mulatto
as to allow any
to rent or lease any lands or tene-
ments except in incorporated cities or towns ….
Sec.
2 ….
All freedmen,
free negroes, and mulattoes
may inter-
marry with each other, in the same manner and under the same regulations that are provided by law for white persons: Provided, That the
clerk of probate shall keep separate records of the same.
b
“What Is Freedom?”
Sec. 3···· All freedmen,
and have herebefore
9
free negroes, or mulattoes who do now
lived and cohabited
together as husband and
wife shall be taken and held in law as legally married, and the issue
shall be taken and held as legitimate for all purposes; that it shall
not be lawful for any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to intermarry
with any white person; nor for any white person to intermarry with
any freedman, free negro, or mulatto; and any person who shall so
intermarry, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and on conviction
thereof shall be confined in the State penitentiary
shall be deemed freedmen,
for life; and those
free negroes, and mulattoes who are of
pure negro blood, a nd those descended from a negro to the third gen-
eration,inclusive, though one ancestor in each generation may have
been a white person.
Sec. 4·· .. In addition
to cases in which freedmen, free negroes,
and mulattoes are now by law competent witnesses, freedmen, free
negroes, or mulattoes
shall be competent in civil cases, when a party
or parties to the suit, either plaintiff or plaintiffs,
defendant or defen-
dants; also in cases where freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes is
or are either plaintiff
or plaintiffs, defendant
or defendants, and a
white person or white persons, is or are the opposing party or parties, plaintiff or plaintiffs,
defendant or defendants.
They shall also
becompetentwitnesses in all criminal prosecutions where the crime
charged is alleged to have been committed by a white person upon or
against the person or property of a freedman,
free negro, or mulatto:
PrOVided, that in all cases said witnesses shall be examined in open
court, on the stand; except, however, they may be examined before
the grand jury, and shall in all cases be subject to the rules and tests
of the common law as to competency and credibility.
Sec. 5·· .. Every freedman,
free negro, and mulatto shall, on the
second Monday of January, one thousand
six and annually thereafter, have a lawful
and shall have written evidence thereof ….
Sec. 6.. ” All contracts
eight hundred and sixtyhome or employment,
for labor made with freedmen, free negroes,
and mulattoes for a longer period than one month shall be in writing,
10
Voices
and in duplicate, attested
mulatto
of Freedom
and read to said freedman,
free negro, or
by a beat, city or county officer, or two disinterested
white
persons of the county in which the labor is to be performed, of which
each party shall have one; and said contracts shall be taken and held
as entire contracts, and if the laborer shall quit the service of the
employer before the expiration
of his term of service, without good
cause, he shall forfeit his wages for that year up to the time of quitting.
Sec. 7·… Every civil officer shall, and every person
may, arrest
and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman,
free negro,
or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer
before the expiration
of his or her term of service
without good
cause …. Provided, that said arrested party, after being so returned,
may appeal to the justice
of the peace or member
of the board of
police of the county, who, on notice to the alleged employer, shall try
summarily
whether said appellant is legally employed by the alleged
employer, and has good cause to quit said employer;
either party
shall have the right of appeal to the county court, pending which the
alleged deserter shall be remanded
to the alleged employer or other-
wise disposed of, as shall be right and just; and the decision of the
county COurtshall be final.
CERTA1N
Sec.
I. … That
no freedman,
OFFENSES
OF FREEDMEN
free negro or mulatto,
not in the mili-
tary service of the United States government, and not licensed so to
do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry
firearms of any kind, or any ammunition,
on conviction
dirk or bowie knife, and
thereof in the county court shall be punished by
fine, not exceeding ten dollars, and pay the costs of such proceedings, and all such arms or ammunition
informer. .
Sec.
2
Any freedman,
shall be forfeited to the
free negro, or mulatto committing
riots,
routs, affrays, trespasses. malicious mischief, cruel treatment to
animals. seditious speeches, insulting gestures, language, or acts, or
assaults on any person, disturbance
of the peace, exercising the func-
n
“What
tion of a minister
Is Freedom?”
of the Gospel without
larly organized church,
11
a license from some regu-
vending spirituous
or intoxicating liquors,
or committing any other misdemeanor, the punishment
not specifically provided
of which is
for by law, shall, upon conviction thereof
in the county court, be fined not less than ten dollars, and not more
than one hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned
of the court, not exceeding thirty days.
at the discretion
Sec. 3···· If any white person shall sell, lend, or give to any freedman, free negro, or mulatto any fire-arms, dirk or bowie knife, or
ammunition, or any spirituous or intoxicating liquors, such person
or persons so offending, upon conviction thereof in the county court
of his or her county, shall be fined not exceeding
may be imprisoned,
thirty days ….
fifty dollars, and
at the discretion of the court, not exceeding
Sec. 5···· If any freedman, free negro, or mulatto, convicted of any
of the misdemeanors
provided against in this act, shall fail or refuse
for the space of five days, after conviction,
imposed, such person
to pay the fine and costs
shall be hired out by the sheriff or other offi-
cer, at public outcry, to any white person who will pay said fine and
all costs, and take said convict for the shortest
time.
Questions
Why do you think the state of Mississippi required all black persons to
sign yearly labor contracts but not white citizens?
1.
2. What basic rights are granted to the former slaves and which are denied
to them by the Black Code?
97. A Sharecropping
Contract (1866)
Sou.rce:Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Tennessee,
Bureauof Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, National Archives.
The  Retreat  from  Reconstruc0on  
• 1.  Black  Poli,cs  in  the  Reconstruc,on  South  
• 2.  White  Supremacist  Violence  
• 3.  The  North  and  the  Turn  from  
Reconstruc0on  
th
15  Amendment  
• Passes  Congress  1869,  ra0fied  by  states  1870  
• Sec0on  1  reads:  “The  right  of  ci0zens  of  the  
United  States  to  vote  shall  not  be  denied  or  
abridged  by  the  United  States  or  by  any  state  
on  account  of  race,  color,  or  previous  
condi0on  of  servitude.”    
Women’s  Rights  Ac0vists  and  
Reconstruc0on  
• Feminists  including  Susan  
B.  Anthony  (right)  and  
Elizabeth  Cady  Stanton  
(leW)  break  with  former  
allies  over  vo0ng  rights  
• 15th  Amendment  extends  
suffrage  to  black  men,  but  
not  white  or  black  women  
• Anthony  and  Stanton  call  
for  truly  universal  
suffrage  (including  
women)  
“Elec0oneering  at  the  South”  (1868)  
Ulysses  S.  Grant  
• Former  Union  General  
• Elected  President  of  the  
U.S.  in  1868  
• Republican  
• First  elec0on  in  which  
African  Americans  could  
vote.  Grant  owes  
margin  of  victory  to  
black  southern  vote  
Republican  Allies  
• “Scalawags”  –  southern  
white  Republicans;  largely  
from  poor  regions  of  the  
South  
• “Carpetbaggers”  –  northern  
transplants.  Mostly  former  
Union  soldiers  
• Both  terms  are  coined  by  
Democrats  and  intended  to  
be  insults  (see  stereotypical  
“carpetbagger”  to  the  right)  
Accomplishments  of  Southern  Republican  
Party  during  Reconstruc0on  
• Black  officeholders:  600  in  state  legislatures;  16  
in  U.S.  House  of  Representa0ves;  2  in  U.S.  Senate  
• Establish  public  school  systems  
• Upgrade  hospitals  and  poor  relief  
• Support  railroad  construc0on/transporta0on  
• Civil  Rights  legisla0on  
• Liberalize  marriage  laws  (women  retain  control  
over  property)  and  criminal  jus0ce  system  
• “Brought  the  South  into  the  19th  Century”  
Sharecropping  
• Starts  during  
Reconstruc0on  as  
compromise  between  
poor  farmers  (black  and  
white)  and  landowners  
• Farmers  agree  to  provide  
por0on  of  crop  to  
landowner  at  year’s  end  
• Easily  abused  –  loans  and  
debt  imprison  
sharecroppers  on  their  
land.  “Debt  peonage”  
Barrow  planta0on  in  Louisiana,  1860  
and  1881.  Each  black  dot  on  right  
represents  a  sharecropping  family.  
The  Retreat  from  Reconstruc0on  
• 1.  Black  Poli0cs  in  the  Reconstruc0on  South  
• 2.  White  Supremacist  Violence  
• 3.  The  North  and  the  Turn  from  
Reconstruc0on  
Redemp0on  
• Campaign  of  poli0cal  violence  that  overthrows  
Reconstruc0on  across  the  South  
• Religious  overtones  –  Redeemers  consider  this  a  
crusade  to  save  white  supremacy  and  the  South  
• When  a  state  has  been  restored  to  Democra0c  
control  (Democra0c  governor  and  legislature)  it  is  
said  to  be  “redeemed”  
• Occurs  quickly  in  some  states  (Virginia),  but  
stretches  into  the  mid-­‐1870s  in  others  
Ku  Klux  Klan  
• White  supremacist  terrorist  
organiza0on,  ac0ve  
1868-­‐1872  
• Poli0cal  inten0ons  –  military  
arm  of  the  Democra0c  party  
• Night  visits  to  homes  of  black  
and  white  Republicans  
• Threats,  bea0ng,  rape,  murder  
• Federal  enforcement  
legisla0on  1871-­‐1872  ends  
Klan’s  reign  of  terror  
Redemp0on  aWer  the  KKK  
• “White  League”  (leW)  and  “Red  
Shirts”  commit  acts  of  violence  
in  support  of  white  supremacy  
and  the  Democra0c  party  
• Day0me  violence,  no  costumes  




1874  Colfax  massacre  
1874  New  Orleans  coup  
1875  Mississippi  Redemp0on  
1876  “Mississippi  Plan”  used  in  
South  Carolina  
• Poli0cs  has  become  WAR  
The  Retreat  from  Reconstruc0on  
• 1.  Black  Poli0cs  in  the  Reconstruc0on  South  
• 2.  White  Supremacist  Violence  
• 3.  The  North  and  the  Turn  from  
Reconstruc,on  
Liberal  Republican  Campaign  (1872)  
• Sick  of  corrup0on  of  
Grant  administra0on  
• Seek  “reunion”  with  
white  southerners  and  
end  of  federal  
Reconstruc0on  effort  
• Horace  Greeley  is  
presiden0al  candidate  
• Grant  wins,  but  Liberals  
suggest  weariness  with  
Reconstruc0on  among  
many  northern  voters  
ShiWing  Priori0es  among  Northern  
Republicans  
• Party’s  increasing  iden0fica0on  with  big  
business  aWer  1872.    
• Industrializa0on,  rise  of  large  corpora0ons,  
labor  rela0ons  become  increasingly  central  to  
Republican  ideology;  racial  concerns  become  
less  significant  
• Panic  of  1873  –  na0onal  depression  leads  to  
focus  on  economic  issues  
Other  Causes  
• Northern  white  
supremacy  –  James  Pike’s  
The  Prostrate  State  
(1873).    
 
• Supreme  Court  decisions  
limit  reach  and  
effec0veness  of  14th  
Amendment  and  Ku  Klux  
Klan  Enforcement  Acts  of  
1871-­‐1872  
Note  the  racial  caricatures  in  this  
1874  cartoon  published  in  New  York  
Disputed  Elec0on  of  1876  
• Rutherford  B.  Hayes  (R)  
vs.  Samuel  Tilden  (D)  
• Results  disputed  in  
several  states,  including  
SC,  LA,  FL  
• Electoral  Commission  
awards  elec0on  to  Hayes  
• Hayes  recognizes  
Democra0c  claimants  in  
SC,  LA,  and  FL  and  returns  
federal  troops  to  barracks  
• Ends  federal  oversight  of  
southern  poli0cs  and  race  
rela0ons  
Emancipa(on  and  the  Making  of  
Reconstruc(on  
• 1.  Reconstruc-on  on  the  Ground  
• 2.  Andrew  Johnson’s  Reconstruc(on  
• 3.  The  Rise  of  Radical  Reconstruc(on  
Emancipa(on  
• 4  million  African  American  slaves  win  their  
freedom  
• January  1,  1863  –  Emancipa(on  Proclama(on  
grants  freedom  to  slaves  in  areas  currently  
under  Confederate  control  
• January  1865  –  13th  Amendment,  outlawing  
slavery  and  involuntary  servitude,  passes  
Congress.  It  is  ra(fied  by  the  states  late  in  the  
year.  
Former  slaves  on  the  move,  1865  
Freedpeople’s  school,  Vicksburg,  MS  1866  
Freedmen’s  Bureau  
• Full  name:  Bureau  of  Refugees,  Freedmen,  
and  Abandoned  Lands  
• Exists  1865-­‐1872  
• Established  by  federal  government  
• Charged  with  assis(ng  former  slaves  in  their  
transi(on  to  freedom.    
Emancipa(on  and  the  Making  of  
Reconstruc(on  
• 1.  Reconstruc(on  on  the  ground  
• 2.  Andrew  Johnson’s  Reconstruc-on  
• 3.  The  Rise  of  Radical  Reconstruc(on  
Andrew  Johnson  
“May  Proclama(ons”  
• May  1865  
• Johnson  lays  out  his  Reconstruc(on  policy  
• Proclama(on  of  Amnesty  and  Reconstruc(on  
pardons  all  Confederates,  with  some  excep(ons  
(Confederate  leaders  and  rich  landowners)  
• A  second  proclama(on  states  that  southern  
states  will  rejoin  Union  a]er  rewri(ng  their  state  
cons(tu(ons  to  ban  slavery.  Elec(ons  are  only  
open  to  white  men.  
Radical  Republicans  
• Senators  and  Representa(ves  
• Call  for  deeper  change  in  southern  poli(cs,  
society,  and  economics  
• Believe  that  the  na(on  has  a  moral  obliga(on  
to  ensure  black  equality  in  the  postwar  na(on  
• Oppose  Johnson’s  Reconstruc(on  policies,  
which  they  find  too  lenient  towards  white  
South  
Black  Codes  
• Passed  in  every  former  Confederate  state  in  late  1865  
• Provide  some  rights  to  former  slaves  (marriage),  but  
severely  limit  black  mobility  and  opportunity  
• Ban  public  mee(ngs  and  limit  freedom  of  speech  
• Force  freedpeople  to  sign  yearly  contracts  to  work  for  
whites  –  those  who  do  not  will  have  labor  sold  to  the  
highest  bidder  
• No  guns  for  freedpeople  
 
• **  Abempt  to  re-­‐create  basic  labor  arrangements  of  
slavery  in  an  age  of  freedom  **  
Emancipa(on  and  the  Making  of  
Reconstruc(on  
• 1.  Reconstruc(on  on  the  ground  
• 2.  Andrew  Johnson’s  Reconstruc(on  
• 3.  The  Rise  of  Radical  Reconstruc-on  
Radical  Republican  leaders    
Massachusebs  Senator  Charles  Sumner  
Pennsylvania  Rep.  Thaddeus  Stevens  
1866  Civil  Rights  Bill  
• Passes  Congress  March  1866.  Johnson  vetoes,  
Congress  overrides  veto  with  2/3  majority  of  
both  House  
• Defines  all  persons  born  in  the  United  States  –  
with  the  excep(on  of  Indians  –  as  U.S.  ci(zens.    
• Lists  the  rights  guarantee  by  U.S.  ci(zenship,  
including  the  right  to  make  contracts,  hold  
property,  sue  and  tes(fy  in  court,  and  enjoy  “full  
and  equal  benefit”  of  all  state  and  federal  laws.    
Memphis  Riot,  May  1866  
Fourteenth  Amendment  to  the  U.S.  
Cons(tu(on  
• Passes  Congress  June  1866  
• Incorporates  expanded  defini(ons  of  ci(zenship  
and  ci(zenship  rights  into  the  Cons(tu(on  
• Says  nothing  about  poli(cal  rights  (i.e.  vo(ng)  
• Southern  states  refuse  to  ra(fy,  pushes  Congress  
towards  African  American  vo(ng  rights  
• Final  ra(fica(on  July  1868  
Why  black  suffrage?  
• Black  lives  remain  insecure  in  South  in  1867  
• Southern  states  refuse  to  respect  African  
American  Civil  Rights  and  refuse  to  ra(fy  14th  
Amendment  
• Armed  with  the  vote,  southern  freedpeople  
will  be  able  to  protect  themselves  by  elec(ng  
candidates  who  will  respect  and  protect  their  
civil  rights  
Reconstruc(on  Act  of  1867  
• Legalizes  black  suffrage  across  the  South  
• Makes  white  supremacist  Johnson  
governments  provisional,  charges  military  
with  keeping  order  
• To  regain  their  seats  in  Congress,  southern  
states  must  rewrite  Cons(tu(ons  (again!),  this  
(me  guaranteeing  black  suffrage  
“The  First  Vote”  (1867)  
Impeachment  trial  of  Andrew  Johnson  
(1867)  
Andrew  Johnson  Impeachment  
• Technically,  charges  stem  from  improper  
dismissal  of  Secretary  of  War  Edwin  Stanton.  
Real  purpose  is  to  protect  the  Reconstruc(on  
effort  from  Johnson.  
• House  presents  its  case  to  the  Senate.  2/3  of  
Senate  must  vote  “guilty”  to  remove  Johnson  
from  office.  
• 36  votes  needed  to  remove;  35  senators  vote  
guilty.  Impeachment  abempt  fails.  

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