Kate Masur

617 Words3 Pages

Kate Masur’s account in An Example for All the Land is a conservative, yet valuable, political narrative. Concentrated in the growing, reconstructing city of Washington, D.C., the book scratches deep below the surface of African Americans’political participation during this time. Senator Charles Sumner’s declaration that Washington D.C. would be “an example for the land” is the basis of Masur’s title and the urban setting of Washington D.C (1). Masur sets the atmosphere for the political and social life of Washington, D.C. for nearly a century. The narrative follows a chronological order and covers the time period following the Civil War through Reconstruction from 1862 to 1874. The author examines relationships between national organizations …show more content…

Masur opens her account with an introduction that outlines her complete narrative. Chapters one through three focus on the growing presence of equality for African Americans. With the increasing population of freed African Americans in the nation’s capital, government set out to end slavery. “Thousands of fugitives from slavery migrated into the city in search of freedom, safety, and employment” (15). Masur uncovers these migration factors and further digs into the establishments of churches for political meetings and enlisted black soldiers demand for equal rights and privileges. More so, she works to allow bring readers into the transformation of Washington D.C. into a city of urbanization and political changes. The author includes various maps and figures to illustrate various aspects of the antebellum capital. Chapter two focuses on the Freedmen’s Bureau and their role in helping freed African Americans gain equal rights. Masur also pens accounts about African American’s newly acclaimed rights in business community. Continuing, chapter three characterizes equality in terms of political debates that included equality in public institutions and

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