Tag: emancipation

Upcoming JCWE Webinars

The Journal of the Civil War Era is sponsoring three webinars with historians in coming weeks. For each event, JCWE editors Greg Downs and Kate Masur will interview the featured historian(s) and take questions from participants. Recordings will be posted on the JCWE's YouTube channnel. Please see below for more ...
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Emancipation in War: The United States and Peru

Emancipation in War: The United States and Peru

On September 22, 1862, a week after the devastating Battle of Antietam/Sharpsburg, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Delivered by the lawyer-turned-politician, Lincoln emphasized the reunification of the country, but also set new precedents for the emancipation process. Wartime emancipation proclamations were not unusual. When the gaze ...
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Group of African Americans in front of Church Building

The Politics of Faith: How Contests within Sacred Space Shaped Post-Emancipation Society

In this roundtable, three historians present short excerpts from papers they would have presented at the 2020 meeting of the Society of Civil War Historians, which was cancelled due to Covid-19. The authors featured here explore how the wartime destruction of slavery shaped politics and power within Black churches, between ...
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Portrait of Henry McNeal Turner

“‘Irregular Secession’: The Political Nature of Religious Space in the Reconstruction-era South

In the early summer of 1865, just a few months after Confederates in Raleigh, North Carolina, officially surrendered, Black Baptists found themselves faced with a choice: submit to white leadership and be permitted to use the roomy sanctuary of the city’s main Baptist church, or refuse and be relegated to ...
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Portrait of George Freeman Bragg

Beyond Speeches and Leaders: The Role of Black Churches in the Reconstruction of the United States

Black churches were at the center of remaking the United States’ post-Civil War political system into one that incorporated formerly enslaved black men into the body politic and revised the legal code to provide civil rights to these new citizens.  Black Baptist and Episcopal Churches of Virginia provide insight into ...
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On Riots and Resistance: Freedpeople’s Struggle against Police Brutality during Reconstruction

On Riots and Resistance: Freedpeople’s Struggle against Police Brutality during Reconstruction

On May 9, 1867, a festive contest took place in Richmond, Virginia between the local fire department and a visiting fire company from Wilmington, Delaware. A biracial crowd of Richmonders spent the afternoon cheering for their local firehouse and jeering the visiting group. When a white firefighter took offense to ...
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Labor, Democracy, Law, and International Reconstruction

The three essays posted here relate to a session planned for the June, 2020 meeting of the Society of Civil War Historians.  The authors’ abbreviated comments, to be expanded at the rescheduled meeting in 2021, convey tantalizing glimpses of the global scope of America’s post-war Reconstruction. In “Free Labor, Emancipation ...
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A World “Transfixed”: The International Resonance of American Political Crises during Reconstruction and at Present

The conditions of the global pandemic have made us keenly aware, once again, of the interconnectedness of the world we share. Recent protest movements against systemic racism have radiated from the United States to distant places. Reporting the reactions of people around the world to American events, The New York ...
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Elderly African American man seated in a chair with a cane.

Juneteenth and the Limits of Emancipation

On June 19, 1865, not long after forcing the surrender of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith at Galveston, Texas, General Gordon Granger issued General Orders No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ‘all slaves are free.’”  ...
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Harriet Jacobs: Working for Freedpeople in Civil War Alexandria

Harriet Jacobs: Working for Freedpeople in Civil War Alexandria

The popularity of the narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl has only grown since historian Jean Fagan Yellin connected what some believed was a fictionalized account, with Harriet Jacobs’s authentic experiences in slavery and freedom.[1] Multiple versions of the text, and dramatic presentations based on it, abound ...
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2019 Draper Conference Review: "The Greater Reconstruction: American Democracy after the Civil War," Part I

2019 Draper Conference Review: “The Greater Reconstruction: American Democracy after the Civil War,” Part I

On April 19 and 20, the University of Connecticut at Storrs hosted the 2019 Draper Conference on the topic of “The Greater Reconstruction: American Democracy after the Civil War.” The two-day event featured eight panels, consisting of thirty-one paper presentations and a keynote address.[1] All told, the conference revealed an ...
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The Electoral Politics of “Migrant Caravans”

The Electoral Politics of “Migrant Caravans”

Images of the “migrant caravans” heading north from Honduras, through Guatemala and Mexico and toward the United States, are now familiar to us all. There have been other “migrant caravans” from Central America in the past, but none have registered in American media and politics quite like the one that ...
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Editor’s Note: December 2018 Issue

We are pleased to present the editor's note for our December 2018 issue, chock full of fascinating articles. To subscribe, please visit our subscriptions page. This issue features essays on the political and social contexts of the sectional crisis, looking carefully at what Americans read and how they voted—and for ...
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Shaping Public Remembrances of Abolition and Emancipation: Memory in the Post-Emancipation Era at the 2018 SHA

Today we share the last of our conference reports on the November 2018 annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association, held in Birmingham. Thank you for following along with us as these four reporters shared details about these fascinating and thought-provoking panels. When one attempts to explain to non-historians that ...
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The Fourteenth Amendment's "Other" Sections

The Fourteenth Amendment’s “Other” Sections

Here we provide the penultimate contribution to our Fourteenth Amendment roundtable. Previous selections from this roundtable can be found here, here, here, and here. Our guest editor Martha S. Jones's conclusion is available here. For a Constitutional Amendment that undergirds so much of modern American jurisprudence, there may be ...
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The Roots of Reconstruction

The Roots of Reconstruction

Today we share the first contribution to our scholarly roundtable on the Fourteenth Amendment. The guest editor's introduction and conclusion can be found here and here. Subsequent posts can be found here, here, and here. In the decades before the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, African American activists helped ...
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