Summary Of Battle Of The Colfax Courthouse

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Throughout the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proposed a new plan called Reconstruction. It required one tenth of the number of voters who voted in 1860 to take an oath of allegiance so the states could reorganize a state government. Also, to let the confederate states could come back into the Union. The state constitution had to be Republican in form, abolish slavery, and provide for Black education. On April 14th, 1865 Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth who was the leader of a conspiracy group that was committed to the southern cause. The Reconstruction plan fell into the hands of Vice President Andrew Johnson (Text pg. 2-5). Lee Anna Keith, author of “Battle of the Colfax Courthouse”, says the Reconstruction plan failed because of racism. She tells a story about a time when blacks were thought to have control of the courthouse in Colfax, Louisiana. There was an African America man named Jesse McKinney that was a part of the Republic faction at the courthouse and he was from a wealthy family. On April 5th, 1873 a group of White men from out of town ambushed him in front of his house and shot him in …show more content…

All the White men in the neighboring areas gathered their guns and horses. As the White men approached with their army, the Blacks surrounded their courthouse. There was a mean massacre that day. They were not going to let the Black men take control of the courthouse and they succeeded in seizing the building with no survivors. The next day, the families of the dead had to bury the bodies and 165 bodies were reported to be found within the entrenchment. The massacre in Colfax was an example of why Blacks were afraid to go into politics. The massacre that day was to set an example for the Blacks to not step over the boundaries. LeeAnna Keith said, “The white men of Louisiana would unite to defeat their enemies within, killing and dying for white supremacy and home rule” (text pg.

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