Just as the fate of slavery was central to the meaning of the Civil War, so the divisive politics of Reconstruction turned on the status the former slaves would assume in the reunited nation.
The only two African Americans to serve as United States Senators in thenineteenth century were Blanche K. Bruce and Hiram Revels, both ofMississippi. Frederick Douglass was appointed to several importantgovernmental positions in the years after the Civil War, includingMinister Resident and Counsel General to Haiti, Recorder of Deeds, and U.S. Marshall.
Reconstruction, 1865-1875 - Tennessee Civil War …
Prior to the Civil War, slave states had laws forbidding literacy for theenslaved. Thus, by emancipation, only a small percentage of AfricanAmericans knew how to read and write. There was such motivation in theAfrican American community, however, and enough good will among white andblack teachers, that by the turn of the twentieth century the majority ofAfrican Americans could read and write. Many teachers commented thattheir classrooms were filled with both young and old, grandfathers withtheir children and grandchildren, all eager to learn. In this image, oneaged man is reading a newspaper with the headline, "PresidentialProclamation, Slavery."