In the summer of 1866, racial tensions ran high in Louisiana as a constitutional convention considered disenfranchising former Confederates and enfranchising blacks. On July 30, a procession of black suffrage supporters pushed through an angry throng of hostile whites. Words were exchanged, shots rang out, and within minutes a riot erupted with unrestrained fury. When it was over, at least forty-eight men -- an overwhelming majority of them black -- lay dead and more than two hundred had been wounded. In An Absolute Massacre, James G. Hollandsworth, Jr., examines the events surrounding the confrontation and offers a compelling look at the racial tinderbox that was the post-Civil War South.
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James G. Hollandsworth, Jr., is also the author of The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience during the Civil War and Pretense of Glory: The Life of Nathaniel P. Banks.He lives in Jackson, Mississippi.From Booklist:
One of several atrocious riots perpetrated in the South in 1866, the bloody tumult in New Orleans had both immediate and antecedent causes. Hollandsworth weaves both into a narrative of events shocking in themselves and made more so by the author's objective, detached manner. The underlying factor in the riot, as in all similar incidents in the aftermath of the Civil War, was the extent of equality to be accorded freedmen. Under Lincoln's Reconstruction plan, a Louisiana convention agreed to abolish slavery but deferred the decision on suffrage to the state legislature. Under the even more lenient Johnson, ex-Confederates returning from the war gained control of the state and city governments by early 1866, so the prosuffrage conventioneers seized on a legal technicality to reconvene and give black men the vote. The ensuing explosion was almost wholly a police-perpetrated murder of dozens of blacks and pro-Union whites, recounted in Hollandsworth's ghastly blow-by-blow detail. Remarkably, to this day denizens of New Orleans pass by the riot's location without any memorial to detain them. Gilbert Taylor
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Book Description LSU Press, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110807125881