This Week in Reconstruction, October 1-7, 1866

Dublin Core


This Week in Reconstruction, October 1-7, 1866


As citizens of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and other states go to the polls to cast their vote after months of political fighting between Republicans and Conservatives, the citizens of Richmond are in another battle. Education is now central in the mind of Richmonders and the debates about it blanket the Dispatch. White Southerners are starting to realize that they will never hold the power they had before the war unless the white children of the South are taught by fellow Southerners. There is a fear that too much control is being handed over to white Northerners in shaping the future of the South because it is Northerners who are teaching most children. The issue of whether or not African-Americans have the right to be educated is being debated. Should formerly enslaved people sit in classrooms and learn about the world they were restricted from participating in? Many white Southerners are not convinced they should. The black Southerners are not debating, they have made up their mind. They are going to fight to ensure that their children and grandchildren are not kept in bondage by being kept out of the classroom. African-Americans across the city are realizing that education is the only way the goals of reconstruction can be met. So they are working to open schools, often organized by the church, dedicated to educating the African-American youth. The white Southerners also realize that equal education is the only way the goals of reconstruction will be achieved, and are preparing to fight against it.


October 1-7, 1866


Nat Berry