Searching for Freedom After the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman
Winner of the Gulf South Historical Association's Michael Thomas Book Award.
In Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman, G. Ward Hubbs uses a stark and iconic political cartoon to illuminate postwar conflicts over the meaning of freedom in the American South.
The cartoon first appeared in the Tuskaloosa Independent Monitor, published by local Ku Klux Klan boss Ryland Randolph, as a swaggering threat aimed at three individuals. Hanged from an oak branch clutching a carpetbag marked “OHIO” is the Reverend Arad S. Lakin, the Northern-born incoming president of the University of Alabama. Swinging from another noose is Dr. Noah B. Cloud—agricultural reformer, superintendent of education, and deemed by Randolph a “scalawag” for joining Alabama’s reformed state government. The accompanying caption, penned in purple prose, similarly threatens Shandy Jones, a politically active local man of color.
Using a dynamic and unprecedented approach that interprets the same events through four points of view, Hubbs artfully unpacks numerous layers of meaning behind this brutal two-dimensional image.
The four men associated with the cartoon—Randolph, Lakin, Cloud, and Jones—were archetypes of those who were seeking to rebuild a South shattered by war. Hubbs explores these broad archetypes but also delves deeply into the four men’s life stories, writings, speeches, and decisions in order to recreate each one’s complex worldview and quest to live freely. Their lives, but especially their four very different understandings of freedom, help to explain many of the conflicts of the 1860s. The result is an intellectual tour de force.
General readers of this highly accessible volume will discover fascinating new insights about life during and after America’s greatest crisis, as will scholars of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and southern history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
ADAH agricultural Alabama Conference Alabama State Journal Alabamians American Cotton Planter appointed April Arad Lakin August began bishop carpetbaggers cartoon Chalfant Cincinnati Western Christian City of Oaks Clanton Cloud Congress constitution convention County December delegates Democratic District dolph editor election father February Five Points former Confederates free blacks freed Freedmen’s Aid Society Freedmen’s Bureau God’s governor Greensboro Huntsville Independent Monitor 1868 John Jones’s Klan later Liberia March Methodist Episcopal Church minister Missionary Mobile Nationalist Mobile Register Montgomery Advertiser Montgomery Alabama negro newspaper Noah November October Party people’s freedom political president professor Prospective Scene Reconstruction reform regents Republican Reverend Robert Ryland Randolph Samford University scalawags schools Scribbles September Shandy Jones slavery slaves South Southern Cultivator state’s Street superintendent of education Tuscaloosa Tuscaloosa County Tuskaloosa Independent Monitor Union University of Alabama votes Wager Swayne Wesley Jones Western Christian Advocate Whiggish Whigs William Hugh Smith woodcut wrote York