In 2017, a blog reader sent me a book recommendation. He was so anxious for me to read this book that he even offered to send me his copy of the book by mail. I appreciated the offer but was able to save everyone the shipping costs by finding the book at the library.
Today, I wanted to share about this insightful book about Reconstruction Era tragedies and also challenge you to consider the books on your shelf about the post-Civil War times. Continue reading
Carpetbaggers and Scalawags. They were creatively unkind names used in the South for certain men in society and politics during the Reconstruction Era. I’d heard the historical terms and was familiar with their general definition, but I decided to delve into the connotation and history of these names and see if these men where really the villains, heroes in disguise, suspicious characters, or something else entirely.
This has been quite a research project today (yep, I didn’t pre-write this blog post – hence the late posting time). Earlier in the week, I planned to write about the effects of Reconstruction on the Civil War’s Border States; however, as I dug into the history of the topic – requested by a blog reader – I realized that to do it full justice, I needed some more research time and a particular resource that isn’t readily available. So – being flexible – I changed topics in the middle of the process, and decided to explore the details of these names so closely associated with the Reconstruction Era.
Hopefully, you’ll find some interesting historical details and maybe a new perspective on Northerners going south and Southerners turning Republican.
Please note: the terms “Carpetbagger” and “Scalawag” are used to explain and define since these terms are typically used in history books. In this blog post, they are not meant in the disrespectful, insensitive way; I decided to keep the historical terms to avoid confusion and since these labels are often used in general discussion of this period of history.
In 1865, the fighting on Civil War battlefields ended, but the questions were far from over. And new questions had been created during the war. One of the most exciting and most explosive questions of the era was: what did freedom look like and how would full freedom be attained by/for the former slaves?
Attempting to answer that question and solve innumerable problems, the Freedmen’s Bureau was established – originally to provide temporary aid and later re-imagined to a role that this agency never had the power successfully fill. Though the Bureau had good intentions, mixed signals from the government, lack of power/manpower, and an over-arching racism problem throughout the country limited its effectiveness.
Last August a blog reader emailed me and asked me to write specifically about the Freedman’s Bureau and its role in the Reconstruction Era. Thanks for pushing me to dig deeper into this interesting part of the era; hopefully, it will be insightful to you as well. Continue reading
1867. It’s the historical year of the historical fiction book Lighthouse Loyalty. In chapter eleven, after Uncle Richard’s trip to town, the family reads the news from a newspaper.
Father read about debates on a newly purchased territory of the United States in the far northwest; the paper called it Alaska and said it was just a frozen wasteland. He started to read aloud about Indian fighting on the western plains but then changed to a different column which discussed President Andrew Johnson’s arguments with Congress over Reconstruction – how to rebuild the South after the war. I thought the Indians would’ve been more frightfully exciting than the release of the former Confederate president and increasing tension between the President Johnson and Congress.
Today’s post covers some of the topics they read about and a few other interesting happenings in history during that year. Continue reading
Prepare yourself. I’m climbing on a soapbox this morning. The Reconstruction Era mystifies many with its complexity. It was an era of positive change and social oppression. An era of anger and reconciliation. And era of hatred and caring sacrifice. An era when American ideals and values were changing, and an era where there was extreme conflict against those changes as the battle for Constitutional interpretation continued. Continue reading
I’m now ready to write this much-delayed blog post which will conclude August’s series on the Reconstruction Era. Rest assured, I plan to revisit the era in 2018 and address more details. This week’s delay (sorry!) was caused because I was determined to finish the book I was reading about Johnson’s impeachment trial; I wanted to make sure I was sharing accurate information and discovered that I no longer agreed with the source I had intended to reference for facts.
Today’s post is an overview. If you want a more in-depth study, I’d recommend David O. Stewart’s book Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson And The Fight For Lincoln’s Legacy. That was the book I couldn’t stop reading once I got it the study. Continue reading