Category: Reconstruction and the New South (1865–1901)


“Bloodthirsty Vest.” from the Roanoke Times (March 10, 1891)

This short article from the Roanoke Times (March 10, 1891) describes an incident in which someone dropped off several issues of the Roanoke Weekly Press, Roanokeꞌs first black newspaper, at police headquarters. This act was a response to a police campaign against black “vagrants” and African American saloons and eating-houses in Gainsboro, which resulted in numerous arrests as well as accusations of police brutality from black residents.


“Coalition Rule in Danville” (October 1883)

In this broadside, titled “Coalition Rule in Danville” and published in various places in October 1883, a group of twenty-eight white businessmen complain about Readjuster rule in the city in general and African Americans in particular. The so-called Danville Circular and responses to it helped raise tensions in Danville ahead of the Danville Riot, which left at least five people dead on November 3, 1883.


“Frivolous Reasons,” Richmond Planet (June 11, 1898)

In its editorial “Frivolous Reasons,” published on June 11, 1898, the Richmond Planet makes the case for African American officers leading African American soldiers in the militia and in the volunteer regiments called to duty during the Spanish-American War (1898). The paper’s editor, John Mitchell Jr., responds directly to arguments made in an editorial published by the Richmond Dispatch on June 5.

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