December 12, 2018
The guns were silent. The dead were buried. The battlefields were empty. But for the Negros in the South, the true fight for freedom was just beginning.
In his second inaugural address, Republican President Abraham Lincoln encouraged the citizens of the country to pull together, “With malice toward none, with charity for all.” (see Disunity Of The Union) In a speech celebrating General Lee’s surrender to General Grant just six weeks later, Lincoln again called for reconciliation. Embracing Louisiana’s actions towards equality for Negros, he encouraged Congress to re-admit them to the Union. Before that could happen, actor and Democrat activist John Wilkes Booth rewarded Lincoln’s courage, compassion, and leadership with a bullet in the head. (see Civility War Ends)
Despite contending with Southern Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s every objection, Republicans pushed forth Civil Rights legislation and Amendments during the Reconstruction Era. (see How The South Was Won) Their efforts were overwhelmingly supported by the Negros they were liberating. As Frederick Douglass stated, “I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.” (see Reading, Writing, & Redemption) At the time, basically every African-American citizen felt the exact same way. Blacks, both former slaves and freemen, started entering politics on the state level, and they all did so as Republicans.
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