Reverend Thomas W. Conway was assistant commissioner of the Freedmen Bureau in Alabama and Louisiana during the Reconstruction era that followed the American Civil War. He published The Freedmen of Louisiana : Final Report of the Bureau of Free Labor, Department of the Gulf, to Major General Canby, Commanding. Freedmen's Bureau activities in Louisiana began on June 13, 1865 when the Bureau's commissioner, Oliver O. Howard, appointed Chaplain Thomas W. Conway as the state's assistant commissioner. Another seven assistant commissioners would later hold the office.
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
Conway was superintendent of freedmen in the Union Army's Department of the Gulf. In April 1865, he was given command of the Freedmen Bureau's Alabama operations as interim Freedmen's Bureau assistant commissioner for the state. Conway reported on the horrible conditions African Americans faced in the American South including a lack of housing, food, and brutal attacks from angry whites. He appealed for funding from the North.In May 1865 he adopted a set of labor regulations he drafted for Louisiana while under the authority of Major General Stephen Hurlbut.
During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Also known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States of America as a working, viable republic.
The Department of the Gulf was a command of the United States Army in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and of the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.
In 1866 he wrote a letter to the Chamber of Commerce of the state of New York seeking support for a trip to England he planned seeking capital investments for cotton cultivation projects he said would benefit White and Black residents of Louisiana and help calm tensions.He issued a series of orders regarding abandoned lands, sick refugees and freedmen, as well as other issues under the Freedmen Bureau's purview. Conway supervised the opening of the Abraham Lincoln School on the campus of the University of Louisiana (predecessor to Tulane University), a school for African Americans.
Abraham Lincoln School was for freedmen and opened on October 3, 1865 in New Orleans on the campus of University of Louisiana after the American Civil War. It was featured on the cover of Harper's Weekly.
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It is considered the top university and the most selective institution of higher education in the state of Louisiana. The school is known to attract a geographically diverse student body, with 85 percent of undergraduate students coming from over 300 miles away.
After passage of the Reconstruction Acts of 1867, Conway was no longer an official with the Freedmen Bureau but remained in contact with Howard and had introductory letters from Hulbert for a tour of Bureau activities in the South. He reported on assistance the Bureau and its officials were providing to the Union League.
The Union Leagues were quasi-secretive, men’s clubs established during the American Civil War (1861–1865), to promote loyalty to the Union of the United States of America, the policies of newly elected 16th President Abraham Lincoln, and to combat what they believed to be the treasonous words and actions of anti-war, antiblack "Copperhead" Democrats. Though initially nonpartisan, by the war's last year they were in open alliance with the Republican Party, pro-Union Democrats, and the Union military. The most famous of these clubs were formed in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston and were composed of prosperous men who raised money for war-related service organizations, such as the United States Sanitary Commission, which provided medical care to treat Federal soldiers wounded in battle at a time when the military was ill-prepared for the scale of need. The clubs supported the Republican Party with funding, organizational support, and activism. Union Leagues also existed throughout the land which were created primarily by working-class men. By the spring of 1863, these disparate councils were organized under the Union League of America (ULA) organization which was headquartered in Washington DC. Like-minded organizations aimed at the working class were also created in New York which became known as Loyal Leagues. Similar patriotic organizations also existed for women and were known as Ladies Union Leagues.
Conway was involved in Republican Party organizing during the Reconstruction era and was a fierce critic of Louis Charles Roudanez and lobbied in Washington D.C. for a switch from Roudanez' paper to the Republican as the party's official journal.
Louis Charles Roudanez, M.D. (1823-1890) was an American physician and the founder of the first African American newspaper in the American South, the first black daily newspaper, and the first bilingual newspaper for African Americans in the United States. Roudanez, who was Creole, worked with francophone astronomer and author Jean-Charles Houzeau, who wrote for two of his papers and later published an account of his time working at Roudanez' L'Union and The New Orleans Tribune in New Orleans during the volatile Civil War era.
The Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. It was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights.
The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, usually referred to as simply the Freedmen's Bureau, was an agency of the United States Department of War to "direct such issues of provisions, clothing, and fuel, as he may deem needful for the immediate and temporary shelter and supply of destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen and their wives and children."
Forty Acres and a Mule refers to a promise made in the United States for agrarian reform to former enslaved black farmers by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman on January 16, 1865. It followed a series of conversations between Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Radical Republican abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens following disruptions to the institution of slavery provoked by the American Civil War. Many freedmen believed and were told by various political figures that they had a right to own the land they had long worked as slaves, and were eager to control their own property. Freed people widely expected to legally claim 40 acres (16 ha) of land and a mule after the end of the war, long after proclamations such as Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. 15 and the Freedmen's Bureau Act were explicitly reversed.
Robert Miller Patton was the 20th Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama from 1865 to 1868.
The Black Codes were laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and 1866 in the United States after the American Civil War with the intent and the effect of restricting African Americans' freedom, and of compelling them to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt. Black Codes were part of a larger pattern of Southern whites, who were trying to suppress the new freedom of emancipated African-American slaves, the freedmen. Black codes were essentially replacements for slave codes in those states. Before the war in states that prohibited slavery, some Black Codes were also enacted. Northern states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and New York enacted Black Codes to discourage free blacks from residing in those states and denying them equal rights, including the right to vote, the right to public education, and the right to equal treatment under the law. Some of these northern black codes were repealed around the same time that the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished.
The Southern Homestead Act of 1866 is a United States federal law enacted to break a cycle of debt during the Reconstruction following the American Civil War. Prior to this act, blacks and whites alike were having trouble buying land. Sharecropping and tenant farming had become ways of life. This act attempted to solve this by selling land at low prices so that southerners could buy it. Many people, however, could still not participate because the low prices were still too high.
Josephine Sophia White Griffing was an American reformer who campaigned against slavery and for women's rights. She was born in Hebron, Connecticut on December 18, 1814 but later settled in Litchfield, Ohio. There she worked as a lecturer for the Western Anti-Slavery Society and Ohio Women's Rights Association. At the end of the American Civil War she moved to Washington, D.C., to help work with the unemployed freedmen. Much of her work was done through the Freedmen's Bureau, where she worked as an assistant to the assistant commissioner and as an agent. Griffing was also active in several women's rights organizations. She died in Washington, D.C. on February 18, 1872.
Charles Griffin was a career officer in the United States Army and a Union general in the American Civil War. He rose to command a corps in the Army of the Potomac and fought in many of the key campaigns in the Eastern Theater.
Tunis Gulic Campbell Sr. served as a voter registration organizer, Justice of the Peace, a delegate to the Georgia State Constitutional Convention, and as a Georgia state senator during the Reconstruction era. He also wrote an autobiography. An African American, he was a major figure in Reconstruction Georgia. He reportedly had a 400-person militia to protect him from the Ku Klux Klan.
A freedmen's town, in the United States, refers to an African-American municipality, communities built by freedmen, former slaves who were emancipated during and after the American Civil War. These towns emerged in a number of states, most notably in Texas.
At the end of the American Civil War, the devastation and disruption in the state of Georgia were dramatic. Wartime damage, the inability to maintain a labor force without slavery, and miserable weather had a disastrous effect on agricultural production. The state's chief cash crop, cotton, fell from a high of more than 700,000 bales in 1860 to less than 50,000 in 1865, while harvests of corn and wheat were also meager. The state government subsidized construction of numerous new railroad lines. White farmers turned to cotton as a cash crop, often using commercial fertilizers to make up for the poor soils they owned. The coastal rice plantations never recovered from the war.
Benjamin Franklin Flanders was a teacher, politician and planter in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1867, he was appointed by the military commander as the 21st Governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction, a position which he held for some six months. He is currently the last Republican mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana.
This is a selected bibliography of the main scholarly books and articles of Reconstruction, the period after the American Civil War, 1863–1877.
The New Orleans Tribune is a newspaper serving the African-American community of New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as the name of a bilingual publication that served the area in the 1860s. The current publication was founded in 1985. The Tribune is published by McKenna Publishing Co., which also publishes The Blackbook, a community directory of African-American businesses, and Welcome, a guide for Black tourists to New Orleans.
Charles Henry Howard was an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and a newspaper editor and publisher. He was the younger brother of Union general Oliver O. Howard.
The Memphis massacre of 1866 was a series of violent events that occurred from May 1 to 3, 1866 in Memphis, Tennessee. The racial violence was ignited by political, social, and racial tensions following the American Civil War, in the early stages of Reconstruction. After a shooting altercation between white policemen and black soldiers recently mustered out of the Union Army, mobs of white civilians and policemen rampaged through black neighborhoods and the houses of freedmen, attacking, raping, and killing black men, women, and children.
The civil rights movement (1865–1896) was aimed at eliminating racial discrimination against African Americans, improving educational and employment opportunities, and establishing electoral power, just after the abolition of Slavery in the United States. This period between 1865 and 1895 saw tremendous change in the fortunes of the black community following the elimination of slavery in the South.
George Thompson Ruby (1841-1882) was a prominent black Republican leader in Reconstruction-era Texas. Born in New York and raised in Portland, Maine, he worked in Boston and Haiti before starting teaching in New Orleans, Louisiana before the end of the American Civil War.