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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877) (x)
  • Item Type > Government Document (x)

We found 9 items that match your search

A Union Army Captain Testifies Before the Freedman's Commission

In May, 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler offered military protection to runaway slaves in Virginia, declaring them wartime "contraband." In every region touched by the war, African-American men, women, and children flocked to the protection [...]

The Emancipation Proclamation (Excerpt)

In addition to abolishing slavery in the rebellious Confederate states on January 1, 1863, Lincoln's Proclamation announced that the Union Army and Navy would accept black men in their ranks. Nearly 200,000 African Americans joined Union forces by [...]

A Senator Calls for a More Democratic Immigration System

In the midst of debating the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which concerned the rights of all Americans, regardless of race, to become citizens and vote, Senator Charles Sumner often urged more liberal and democratic application of the law. In [...]

A Union Army General Describes the Impact of Contraband Slaves (with text supports)

In the testimony that follows, a general tells Congress how contraband slaves served his army and had a dramatic impact on the way Union soldiers thought about slavery and freedom.

A Union Army General Describes the Impact of Contraband Slaves

In the testimony that follows, a general tells Congress how contraband slaves served his army and had a dramatic impact on the way Union soldiers thought about slavery and freedom.

A Freedman and a General Discuss the Meanings of Freedom

What exactly should be done for freedmen, if anything, was hotly debated in the years following the Civil War. As this exchange between a Union military officer and a former slave in Arkansas shows, even the meaning of freedom was up for grabs.

Southern Democrats Declare "a Dead Radical Is Very Harmless"

In 1876, using the Mississippi Plan as their model, the Democratic Party in South Carolina organized a chilling campaign of violence to steal the election for governor. Their strategy, excerpted below, succeeded with the election of former [...]

The 14th and 15th Amendments

Following the Civil War and abolition of slavery, Republicans in Congress passed reconstruction laws meant to guarantee full citizenship and suffrage to African Americans. The 14th amendment required states to guarantee the rights of all citizens, [...]

A Union Army Captain Testifies Before the Freedmen’s Commission (with text supports)

In May, 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler offered military protection to runaway slaves in Virginia, declaring them wartime "contraband." In every region touched by the war, African-American men, women, and children flocked to the protection [...]