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Fri Sep 28, 2018, 05:29 PM

The Deadliest Massacre in Reconstruction-Era Louisiana Happened 150 Years Ago

In September 1868, Southern white Democrats hunted down around 200 African-Americans in an effort to suppress voter turnout



Klan newspaper cartoon
A cartoon from a U.S. newspaper from 1880 reads: ’Terrorism in the South. Citizens beaten and shot at.” (Granger)
By Lorraine Boissoneault

SMITHSONIAN.COM
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 7:00AM
3714031126
“E.B. Beware! K.K.K.”

So read the note found on the schoolhouse door by its intended recipient: Emerson Bentley, a white school teacher. He found the message in early September 1868, illustrated with a coffin, a skull and bones, and a dagger dripping with blood. The straightforward message represented a menacing threat to Bentley, who was teaching African-American children in Louisiana at the time. Little could the Ohio-born Republican have predicted just how soon that violence would come about.

Bentley, an 18-year-old who also worked as one of the editors of the Republican paper The St. Landry Progress, was one of the few white Republicans in the Louisiana parish of St. Landry. He and others came to the region to assist recently emancipated African-Americans find jobs, access education and become politically active. With Louisiana passing a new state constitution in April 1868 that included male enfranchisement and access to state schools regardless of color, Bentley had reason to feel optimistic about the state’s future.

But southern, white Democrats were nowhere near willing to concede the power they’d held for decades before the Civil War. And in St. Landry, one of the largest and most populous parishes in the state, thousands of white men were eager to take up arms to defend their political power.

The summer of 1868 was a tumultuous one. With the help of tens of thousands of black citizens who finally had the right to vote, Republicans handily won local and state elections that spring. Henry Clay Warmoth, a Republican, won the race for state governor, but the votes African-Americans cast for those elections cost them. Over the summer, armed white men harassed black families, shot at them outside of Opelousas (the largest city in St. Landry Parish), and killed men, women and children with impunity. Editors of Democratic newspapers repeatedly warned of dire consequences if the Republican party continued winning victories at the polls.


Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/story-deadliest-massacre-reconstruction-era-louisiana-180970420/#XRc0KihAYtgiPHzV.99

Don't forget, Southern Democrats became Republicans during the 1960's because they refused to accept Civil Rights legislation which was achieved  by  mentally stable Democrats.

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Reply The Deadliest Massacre in Reconstruction-Era Louisiana Happened 150 Years Ago (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 2018 OP
Kajun Gal Sep 2018 #1
dae Sep 2018 #2
ROB-ROX Sep 2018 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 06:16 PM

1. Gotta love LOSE-ee-ana! My state. Can't wait to leave it!!! One day, God willing!

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 09:22 PM

2. Unfortunately the bigotry had hatred never abated,

and trump has emboldened them.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 01:24 PM

3. INBREEDING SUPPORTS HATRED

I think that part of the country has not changed much from being a poor and uneducated area is because the smart ones got out. The dumb one who stayed just reproduced. This is one part of the country I avoid like it was a third world country. There are to many criminals and corrupt people to make it SAFE to visit or live happily. After high school I did go to school in Memphis, and I was warned by someone from Mississippi to NOT visit his home state because even for HIM it was dangerous and he was WHITE.

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