Searching for Freedom After the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman

Front Cover
University of Alabama Press, May 15, 2015 - History - 223 pages
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.

Contents

Prologue
1
One Klansman
9
Two Carpetbagger
57
Three Scalawag
99
Four Freedman
133
Epilogue
159
Characters
165
Chronology
171
Caption to A Prospective Scene in the City of Oaks 4th of March 1869
177
Notes
179
Bibliography
207
Index
217
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

G. Ward Hubbs is an associate professor, reference librarian, and archivist at Birmingham-Southern College; the editor ofRowdy Tales from Early Alabama: The Humor of John Gorman Barr; and the author ofGuarding Greensboro: A Confederate Company in the Making of a Southern Community.

Bibliographic information