Tag: Reconstruction

African American man standing over gold mining claim in California.

California’s slavery reparations task force and the lessons of history

The nine members of California’s reparations task force have a monumental job before them. They have already conducted a detailed investigation into the history of anti-Black discrimination in the United States; they’re also expected to make a formal recommendation to the California legislature as to who will be eligible for ...
Read More
Previewing the September 2022 JCWE Issue

Previewing the September 2022 JCWE Issue

This issue includes one original article, two very interesting lectures, a review essay, and the usual slate of excellent book reviews that together continue to expand our understanding of the field, its key actors, and its central questions. The first of the published lectures is Thavolia Glymph's acceptance speech for ...
Read More
Historic map with a river at top and historic fort identified.

Haunted Former Safe Havens of Reconstruction

I had had enough of ghost stories as the author of a book about the Colfax Massacre.  I had discovered the awkwardness of being a white woman who became the expert on the suffering of Black people. And while no one had told me it was not right, I came ...
Read More
Connecting the Nation: The U.S. Army and the American West in the Study of the Civil War Era Image?

Connecting the Nation: The U.S. Army and the American West in the Study of the Civil War Era Image?

Read the introduction to the A Prelude to an Unholy Union roundtable here, the first installment here, and the third installment here. In the aftermath of a fatal confrontation between elements of Washington Territory’s militia and an enraged anti-Chinese mob, elements of the U.S. Army’s Fourteenth Infantry Regiment occupied Seattle between February ...
Read More
The Reconstruction Politics of the Allotment Era in Indian Territory

The Reconstruction Politics of the Allotment Era in Indian Territory

Read the introduction to the A Prelude to an Unholy Union roundtable here and the first installment here In the post-Civil War period, Republicans in Congress and the White House were as equally interested in bringing the American West into the nation as they were in the former Confederate South ...
Read More
White building with columns in the front. Walkers are in front of the structure in the historic photograph.

The Case of the Abstracted Indian Bonds

Read the introduction to the A Prelude to a Unholy Union roundtable here. “The investment was made in these particular bonds without consultation with the Indians and without their assent, and the bonds have been stolen.” - Rep. Thomas M. Edwards (R-New Hampshire), July 7, 1862[1] One night early in the ...
Read More
“Let our ballots secure what our bullets have won”: Union Veterans and the Making of Radical Reconstruction?

“Let our ballots secure what our bullets have won”: Union Veterans and the Making of Radical Reconstruction?

Editor's Note: This post is part of the Detailed: A Semi-Occasional series within Muster. Read the introductory post here.  The passage and enforcement of the Reconstruction amendments is one of the most remarkable expansions of political rights in world history. Political scientists studying the expansion and contraction of political rights ...
Read More
Title page of slave narrative

The Remarkable Story of Mattie J. Jackson

As a public historian working in St. Louis, Missouri, I am sometimes asked whether enslaved people living here before the Civil War ran away more frequently than enslaved people in the Deep South. Enslaved St. Louisians had the free state of Illinois across the Mississippi River, after all. While an ...
Read More
Challenging Exceptionalism: The 1876 Presidential Election, Potter Committee, and European Perceptions

Challenging Exceptionalism: The 1876 Presidential Election, Potter Committee, and European Perceptions

In May 1878, the House of Representatives appointed Representative Clarkson N. Potter (NY-12) to investigate claims of fraud during the 1876 election. The commission, as Adam Fairclough untangles in his new book, uncovered massive wrongdoing on both sides, including so-called bulldozing by Louisiana Democrats, Republican election theft, and attempts to ...
Read More
Group of Black men sitting on lumber and standing in pose for a group photograph.

“I remember that Jasper Gray told me that he had herded sheep in Australia”

In 1906, Oscar Nelson, a local African American living in Tennessee, provided testimony on the extraordinary life of Jasper Gray, a United States Colored Troops (USCT) veteran, of the Thirty-First United Colored Infantry (USCI). Gray was a man whose entire life—in bondage and freedom—was one of constant physical movements and ...
Read More
Previewing September 2021 Issue: Immigration in the Civil War Era

Previewing September 2021 Issue: Immigration in the Civil War Era

While recent immigration scholars have turned most of their attention to the twentieth century, many historians are also reexamining immigration policy in the mid-nineteenth century. Alison Clark Efford, in a recent review essay in this journal, reflects on how nineteenth-century immigration historiography is marked by an “imperial framework in which the ...
Read More
Mural of Gordon Granger signing the Special orders with African American soldiers looking on

Juneteenth, Public Memory, and Teaching Reconstruction Through an International Perspective

A few weeks ago, the United States celebrated Juneteenth as a federal holiday for the first time. The bill recognizing the emancipation celebration passed the Senate and House and was signed into law by President Joe Biden in a matter of days, just in time for Americans to celebrate this ...
Read More
Removing the White Supremacy Marker at Colfax, Louisiana: A 2021 Success Story

Removing the White Supremacy Marker at Colfax, Louisiana: A 2021 Success Story

On May 15, 2021, state officers, parish officials, and private citizens gathered in Colfax, Louisiana to watch local contractors remove an historical marker in front of Grant Parish Courthouse. Erected on June 14, 1951, the sign’s bold white letters announced that a civil disturbance claimed the lives of “three white ...
Read More
Congratulations to the Winner of The Journal of the Civil War Era’s George and Ann Richards Prize!

Congratulations to the Winner of The Journal of the Civil War Era’s George and Ann Richards Prize!

Catherine A. Jones has won the $1,000 George and Ann Richards Prize for the best article published in The Journal of the Civil War Era in 2020. The article, “The Trials of Mary Booth and the Post-Civil War Incarceration of African American Children,” appeared in the September 2020 issue. Drawn ...
Read More
The Necessity of National Unity:  Defeated Confederates’ International Appeals to Unity

The Necessity of National Unity:  Defeated Confederates’ International Appeals to Unity

Citizens were divided. Violence threatened the stability of the nation. After the violence ended, calls rose for unity. This pattern played out recently with calls to move past and forgive insurrectionists in the name of national unity following the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Such a pattern ...
Read More
Grant’s Mixed Legacy

Grant’s Mixed Legacy

Books can have an impact. Readers without patience to wade through all 1,074 pages of Ron Chernow’s frequently cited biography are told in the introduction that Ulysses S. Grant was “the single most important figure behind Reconstruction” and that the “imperishable story of Grant’s presidency was his campaign to crush ...
Read More