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Capitol men: the epic story of Reconstruction through the lives of the first Black congressmen

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Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Co.,
Pub. Date:
2008.
Language:
English
Description
Reconstruction was a time of idealism and sweeping change, as the victorious Union created citizenship rights for the freed slaves and granted the vote to black men. Sixteen black Southerners, elected to the U.S. Congress, arrived in Washington to advocate reforms such as public education, equal rights, land distribution, and the suppression of the Ku Klux Klan. But these men faced astounding odds. They were belittled as corrupt and inadequate by their white political opponents, who used legislative trickery, libel, bribery, and the brutal intimidation of their constituents to rob them of their base of support. Despite their status as congressmen, they were made to endure the worst humiliations of racial prejudice. And they have been largely forgotten?often neglected or maligned by standard histories of the period. In this beautifully written book, Philip Dray reclaims their story. Drawing on archival documents, contemporary news accounts, and congressional records, he shows how the efforts of black Americans revealed their political perceptiveness and readiness to serve as voters, citizens, and elected officials. We meet men like the war hero Robert Smalls of South Carolina (who had stolen a Confederate vessel and delivered it to the Union navy), Robert Brown Elliott (who bested the former vice president of the Confederacy in a stormy debate on the House floor), and the distinguished former slave Blanche K. Bruce (who was said to possess ?the manners of a Chesterfield”). As Dray demonstrates, these men were eloquent, creative, and often effective representatives who, as support for Reconstruction faded, were undone by the forces of Southern reaction and Northern indifference. In a grand narrative that traces the promising yet tragic arc of Reconstruction, Dray follows these black representatives’ struggles, from the Emancipation Proclamation to the onset of Jim Crow, as they fought for social justice and helped realize the promise of a new nation.
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ISBN:
9780618563708
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Grouping Information

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full_title capitol men the epic story of reconstruction through the lives of the first black congressmen
author dray philip
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2016-12-14 05:07:02AM

Solr Details

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author Dray, Philip.
author-letter Dray, Philip.
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callnumber_sort_arlington 973.81 DRAY
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
date_added 2011-01-26T05:00:00Z
days_since_added 2285
detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction
display_description Pulitzer Prize finalist Philip Dray shines a light on a little known group of men: the nation's first black members of Congress. These men played a critical role in pushing for much-needed reforms in the wake of a traumatic civil war, including public education for all children, equal rights, and protection from Klan violence. But they have been either neglected or maligned by most historians -- their "glorious failure" chalked up to corruption and "ill-preparedness."--From publisher description.
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local_callnumber_arlington 973.81 DRAY
local_callnumber_exact_arlington 973.81 DRAY
local_callnumber_left_arlington 973.81 DRAY
local_days_since_added_arlington 2285
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oclc (OCoLC)214064100
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
physical xiii, 463 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
popularity 5
primary_isbn 9780618563708
publishDate 2008
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publisher Houghton Mifflin Co.,
rating 5
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record_details ils:.b13066729|Book|Books||English|Houghton Mifflin Co.,|2008.|xiii, 463 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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subject_facet Southern States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950, Southern States -- Race relations -- Political aspects -- History -- 19th century, United States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1900, United States -- Race relations -- Political aspects -- History -- 19th century
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Capitol men : the epic story of Reconstruction through the lives of the first Black congressmen
title_display Capitol men : the epic story of Reconstruction through the lives of the first Black congressmen
title_full Capitol men : the epic story of Reconstruction through the lives of the first Black congressmen / Philip Dray
title_short Capitol men :
title_sort capitol men the epic story of reconstruction through the lives of the first black congressmen
title_sub the epic story of Reconstruction through the lives of the first Black congressmen