The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of Reconstruction by Charles Lane Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of Reconstruction

The untold story of the slaying of a Southern town’s ex-slaves and a white lawyer’s historic battle to bring the perpretators to justice
 
Following the Civil War, Colfax, Louisiana, was a town, like many, where African Americans and whites mingled uneasily. But on April 13, 1873, a small army of white ex–Confederate soldiers, enraged after attempts by freedmen to assert the


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    Cheryl

    Mar 02, 2008

    rated it
    really liked it

    Recommends it for:
    History buffs, Supreme Court afficianados

    As a history major and attorney, I was more than a little surprised that the Colfax massacre and its aftereffects in the legal system had managed to escape my notice. This book recounts the horrific mass murder of 70-80 African Americans just after the end of the Civil War, placing the events in the context of the social and political atmosphere of the time. The author goes on to examine the attempt to prosecute the instigators, the resulting Supreme Court case, and its effect on Reconstruction

    This book is a very dense read, with a lot of information on a huge cast of characters and minutaie about Louisiana politics (apparently the political insanity there is not a recent development) as well as detailed information about several court cases. It takes some effort to plow through, but is simultaneously fascinating.

    The events that are the focus of the book are horrifying to contemplate, and it was difficult for me to process the virtual anarchy that existed, permitting white supremacists to terrorize the South. That the legal decisions of the time enabled the institutional terrorism of African Americans for another century is truly tragic. Reading this book helped me to understand, though, how that was made possible.


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