Skip to main content

156 years later, a look back at the aftermath of the Civil War (which took place 78 years after the US Constitution was written)

{ The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments crumbled to dust in the face of armed white resistance, intimidation and terror perpetrated against blacks in elections in various Southern states.

In August 1874, resurgent Democrats in Alabama used an array of coercion, targeted assassination, and in one instance in Eufaula in Barbour County, the murder of seven blacks and the wounding of some seventy more on Election Day to defeat an already divided Republican interracial coalition.
In Mobile, blacks were driven from polls by white mobs, and in other places ballot boxes were burned. In September 1874 in New Orleans, in the "Battle of Liberty Place," a throng of thirty-five hundred "White Leaguers," composed largely of Confederate veterans, drove black militiamen and Metropolitan Police away from official buildings and took over city hall, the statehouse, and an arsenal.
Mississippi produced the worst violence of all. Municipal and county elections in and around Vicksburg in August-September 1874 pitted "White League Clubs" (Democrats) against a weakening Republican Party, led by the Northern-bred governor Adelbert Ames.
Grant refused for too long to intervene in Mississippi, and by fall some three hundred blacks had been killed in political terror throughout the countryside.
In 1875 statewide election campaigns white vigilante mobs attacked and shot people with impunity in broad daylight.
The Democrats' "Mississippi Plan" used intimidation as well as murder to keep blacks from the polls in several key black belt counties.
Grant's inaction left Ames' government on its own to face the crisis; Ames was forced to resign and leave the state in what amounted to a violent coup d'├ętat.
The one surviving black Republican from Mississippi in Congress, John Roy Lynch, said that the results of the armed white-supremacist revolt in his state meant that "the war was fought in vain."
Ames called it a "revolution ... by the force of arms- and a race ... disfranchised [and] returned to ... an era of second slavery."
- Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom, David W. Blight, 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winning biography. (Chaper: "What Will Peace Among The Whites Bring?"


Popular posts from this blog

It's a slow economy- Let's talk about handshakes & picking up chicks

You know it's a rough economy when Guy Kawasaki is tweeting about  picking up chicks  and TechCrunch is blogging about  handshakes & social etiquette  and  beating up dead horses . But shouldn't these guys be talking about my friend's company that just got funded to do  DNA computation in the cloud  - or something like that? [Originally posted on my personal blog at, May 09, 2009]

1876 Redestruction: Supreme Court puts the final nail in the coffin of Reconstruction

  From the winner of 2019 Pulitzer Prize:  Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom  by David W. Blight As the election neared in 1876, all knew the last vestiges of Reconstruction policies and regimes were at stake in the remaining "unredeemed" Southern states. In 1876 the project of Reconstruction, and perhaps the United States itself, were like a huge battleship slowly turning around as it lost power; once turning, it could hardly be stopped, even if the same group of officers remained at the helm.  That year the Supreme Court weakened the Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments by emasculating the enforcement clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and revealing deficiencies in the Fifteenth Amendment.  In US v. Cruikshank, based on prosecutions for the horrible Colfax massacre of  1873, the Court overruled the conviction of Louisiana whites who had attacked a political meeting of blacks and conspired to deprive them of their rights.  The justices ruled that the Fourteenth

A plan to blog more often

I am a prolific writer when I set my mind to it. From 1977 to 1984, I had exchanged an unbroken chain of written letters (about half a dozen per year) with a childhood friend. I had similar, smaller chains with some of my other school friends. I read a lot too. And don't me talking - I usually have a lot to say. But trust me, I listen well too (when I shut up). So, it's like all my life I was waiting for the blog' to get invented, but when that did happen, I seem to have run out of steam to take advantage of it. I've thought about why that is and the answer is simple. I'm a whole lot busier- especially since I'm bootstrapping my startup. But there are those who should be busier than me, successfully blogging all the time. How do they do it? I don't know for sure, but I'm going to start doing the following: 1. Write short blogs, with anything that I can think of. Even a single line quote. 2. Start writing the moment I think of something t