The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction

The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction

LeeAnna Keith


On Easter Sunday, 1873, within the tiny hamlet of Colfax, Louisiana, greater than a hundred and fifty individuals of an all-black Republican defense force, protecting the town's courthouse, have been slain by means of an armed strength of rampaging white supremacists. the main lethal incident of racial violence of the Reconstruction period, the Colfax bloodbath unleashed a reign of terror that every one yet extinguished the crusade for racial equality.

LeeAnna Keith's The Colfax Massacre is the 1st full-length ebook to inform the background of this decisive occasion. Drawing on an important physique of files, together with eyewitness debts of the bloodbath, in addition to newly stumbled on proof from the positioning itself, Keith explores the racial tensions that ended in the fateful come upon, in which surrendering blacks have been mercilessly slaughtered, and the reverberations this message of terror despatched through the South. Keith additionally recounts the heroic makes an attempt via U.S. lawyer J.R. Beckwith to deliver the killers to justice and the numerous criminal concerns raised by way of the bloodbath. In 1875, brushing off the poignant testimony of three hundred witnesses, the very best court docket governed unanimously in U.S. v. Cruikshank to overturn a reduce courtroom conviction of 8 conspirators. This choice almost nullified the Ku Klux Klan Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871--which had made federal offenses of numerous acts to intimidate electorate and officeholders--and cleared the way in which for the Jim Crow era.

If there has been a unmarried ancient second that successfully killed Reconstruction and erased the profits blacks had made because the civil battle, it used to be the day of the Colfax bloodbath. LeeAnna Keith provides readers either a gripping narrative account of that portentous day and a nuanced historic research of its far-reaching repercussions.

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