The Mixed Legacy of the Reconstruction Era - Research Article from Reconstruction Era Reference Library

Eric Foner
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The Mixed Legacy of the Reconstruction Era

Union army general Rufus Saxton (1824–1908) had long been a friend to African Americans. He had been on hand in the Sea Islands (located off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia) in the summer of 1865, just after the end of the Civil War (1861–65). For a brief period, it appeared that the federal government would soon be distributing free land to the newly freed slaves, in recognition of the many years of unpaid labor they had provided and in compensation for the crime of slavery. The collapse of that promise was just one of many disappointments that African Americans had endured, and Saxton had shared in that disappointment.

In a letter written many years later to black South Carolina politician Robert Smalls (1839–1915), Saxton remembered a happier day: January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation (a document...

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This section contains 6,549 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Mixed Legacy of the Reconstruction Era Encyclopedia Article
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