This Week in Reconstruction, May 9-14, 1866

Radicals and Southerners maintain an ongoing dispute over Reconstruction policies. Southerners have confidence in Johnson and his ability to restore the Union. Northerners make a report on the condition of the South, describing Virginians as not enthusiastically patriotic, but loyal. White Southerners express their belief that the amendment proposed by Radicals is dead and never capable of achieving a two-thirds vote. Ironically, the House does pass the amendment, disfranchising the majority of former Confederates. This leads Southerners to propose the idea of striking out the third section which stripped them of representation in Congress. This request was not approved, led by opposition of Stevens and other Radicals who claimed, "Give us the third section or give us nothing!" On a national scale, Reconstruction is not advancing as the white South declares that it will not accept having their voting rights taken. Judge Underwood of Virginia indicts rebellion leaders, including Jefferson Davis who is on trial in Norfolk for treason. Underwood claims, "Virginia never had a free government and never will until the enfranchisement of negroes." A Boston man from Richmond claims that the blacks from there would prefer to be enslaved again than be in their current condition: "forced into sudden emancipation."

Contributed By

Brooke Beam