Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags: Black Officeholders During the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878

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Pyramid Publishing, Incorporated, Nov 1, 1999 - 490 pages
The reconstruction of Alabama brought with it the unprecedented opportunity for African Americans-antebellum free blacks and former slaves-to receive an education, to work for wages, to worship free of white observation, to work for wages, to worship free of white observation, to marry and live with their families, and to participate in political matters. Although the aforementioned concerns were important to these people, none of these areas have received as much attention as the scrutiny given African Americans who became officeholders in Alabama. Despite the charge that has been leveled against them for what went wrong during Reconstruction, one of the most crucial periods in American history, black officeholders have been saddled with this infamy without having been the subject of academic inquiry. In addition, few studies have applauded their efforts. This study makes clear the role blacks played during Alabama Reconstruction. Most African American officeholders in Alabama came from the Blackbelt counties, although some of them came from as far north as Madison and Lauderdale Counties and others came from as far south as Mobile county. They assumed public office for the first time when they were elected as delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1867.These officeholders became the state's first black caucus. Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags distills many of their public utterances and some of their private deeds to highlight their role in forming the state's first Republican party and in reshaping postwar affairs in Alabama.

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