African American

1890s

Overview The nineteenth century had always been an age of certainties, but by the 1890s, some of the post-Civil War consensus about American civilization and progress was beginning to fragment as it had never quite done before.  Populists challenged the distribution…

1880s

Overview As a young teacher at the Hampton Institute in the late 1870s and early 1880s, Booker T. Washington was responsible for helping to instruct and assimilate Native American or Indian men.  The complexity of this assignment –a black teacher…

1860s

Overview When Booker T. Washington recalled the outbreak of the Civil War, he claimed that “every slave on our plantation felt and knew that, though other issues were discussed, the primal one was that of slavery.”  Washington’s memory of life as young slave…

1870s

Overview The term “Reconstruction” has more than one meaning in American history.  Usually it refers to the period from 1863 to 1877, as the federal government worked to “reconstruct” or “restore” former Confederate states back in the national system of…

ESSAY –Emancipation Moments

The essay excerpted below originally appeared in Emancipation at 150: The Impact of Emancipation, a special e-book anthology produced in 2013 on the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln’s Cottage and the US Commission on Civil Rights.   Emancipation…