TexasReconstructionNews By Macie swett

Reconstruction Begins!

The Civil War has ended, and the United States is trying to rebuild itself! President Abraham Lincoln has a plan to get the U.S back into one piece. During reconstruction, the Northern states will reorganize the seceded Southern states and bring them back into the Union. If the nation is ever going to thrive together again, reconstruction will have to move fast. In bringing back the southern states, we will have to help them get used to a new life style without slaves. Since Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation claiming that all slaves in the south were free, the southern states will have to learn to do their own work. There's a lot of work to be done now that the war is over. The south is in complete ruins, and the transportation systems are completely damaged. Texas was largely affected by the war, with the battles in Galveston, Palemento Ranch, and on the Sabine River, along with our blockade that prevented them from shipping cotton to Europe. The road to recovery may be long, but in the end, it will have been worth it.

In loving memory of President Abraham Lincoln: 1809-1865

Two Presidential Plans

President Abraham Lincoln has been replaced after his assasination just a few days ago. Andrew Johnson has taken over the duties of being President of the Untied States, and plans to also take over the reconstruction of the nation. He will be using a plan modeled after Lincolns original plan. Lincoln wanted to restore the Union as quickly as possible, and to do that he couldn't punish the Confederacy for what they had done. If 10% of a states voters took an oath pledging their loyalty to the United States, the state could be readmitted.

Johnsons Plan

Johnson wants the Confederate States to follow 3 different rules to be readmitted. Each state must cancel their act of secession, ratify the 13th amendment, and acknowledge that the government of the U.S would not pay their Civil War debts. With these rules, mostly every white Southerner will have to swear an oath of loyalty to the United States, just as Lincoln had called for. Until the states are readmitted, they will have a provisional government with federal troops to protect them.

Texas Slaves are Finally Free!

Slavery Ends in Texas!

General Gordon Granger and his Union army were sent to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation last year (1865). It took a long time for the news of his arrival and plans to reach across all of Texas, but eventually everyone had heard and obliged to his orders. Most Texans voluntarily freed their slaves, but some had to be forced to free them by Granger and his soldiers. By the end of the year, Granger had about 250,000 African American slaves in Texas set free. African Americans were very pleased by the Emancipation Proclamation, and now call Texas Emancipation Day "Juneteenth." Since many former slaves had nowhere to go after they were freed, Congress created the Freedmans Bureau which helped many sick, aged, and poor African Americans find jobs and kept them fed and warm. It is still operational today, and provides education for the freedmen. The Bureau has created over 100 schools for black men in Texas.

New Texas Governor Appointed


Andrew Hamilton has been appointed Texas Governor by President Johnson because he is loyal to the Union. Both men have hope to return Texas to the United States sooner rather than later, and to do so peacefully. Hamilton has called for a convention with the election delegates to meet in Austin to write a new constitution that would allow them to re-enter the Union. The convention will be held in February, and will craft the new constitution hopefully by April. It could be a whole new constitution, or just an edited version of the one that they had before the Civil War.

A New Texas Constitution

The constitutional convention in Texas lasted for almost 3 months, but has finally come to an end. In those months, the delegates of the convention and Hamiltons supporters debated on whether equal rights to freedmen would be added to the ammended constitution of Texas. Hamilton, being a unionist, believed that equal rights for freedmen was the right thing to do. On the other hand, the delegates argued that in order to rejoin the union, Texas had to follow certain requirements, and none of those required that they give freedmen any rights. Once the new constitution was finished with laws stating that freedmen could not vote, hold public office, serve on juries, or testify against any white person in court, Texas voters approved it. A new state government has been elected, and the majority of the legislature is Ex-Confederates. They refuse to ratify the thirteenth and fourteenth amendment, which give rights to free people. They have, however, enacted Black Codes which limit the rights of freedmen.

Congress Takes Control

The souths reconstruction and reentry to the union is going slower than most people in the north want. Congress has the right to admit new states into the union, and therefore will be taking over for President Johnson. A group in Congress known as the Radical Republicans has openly stated that Johnsons rules to be readmitted into the union are too soft. They believe that to be readmitted, the southern states should be pushed to enter with tougher requirements. Johnson and the Radicals have been fighting each others interests for quite some time, and in the end, the Radical Republicans came out with the power and control. With 2/3 of both houses of congress being Radical Republicans, they can now take over reconstruction. Our new, reconstruction... Radical Reconstruction!

Radical Reconstruction Begins!

The Begining

Radical Reconstruction is a lot tougher than President Johnsons plan. Congress' had named the former southern governments illegal, and now the south is split up into 5 military districts. Until the states that are located in the districts agree to ratify the fourteenth amendment, and in some states, the fifteenth, the military will control and govern the districts. In addition to this, they must also get rid of the black codes that prevent African American men from having rights. To finalize the readmition into the U.S, many white southerners have to take the Ironclad Oath in which they pledge that they did not aid or have anything to do with the Confederacy. These conditions may be rather harsh on the southerners, but it is the only way that we can ensure that when they re-enter the union, there can be no more potential causes for a second Civil War.

Freedmen Get The Vote!

The Freedmens Bureau has accomplished the unbelievable in the south. Over 50,000 free African Americans are now registered to vote! Other registered Freedmen are helping others get registered all around the south. This is truly looks like the beginning of the end... of construction!

Mass Murder by the KKK

Today is a tragic day in the south and in the United States. In Houston, Texas, a new negro high school had just finished being built and had opened for its first day of education. Almost 300 students arrived at school like another ordinary day, except a few hours later everything changed. One survivor, Val Martinez, shares her traumatic experience with me.

There was a large crash from one of the other halls, and then an explosion. I saw other students running through the halls and I followed them to any exit they pushed me to.

Another strike by the KKK. 115 students and teachers were killed, 47 were injured, and 3 juniors are missing. The school will reopen on a later date after the damage has been cleared away. Though it may one day open its doors to African American students once again, that day is very far from today. The attacks have been getting worse and worse this month. A few weeks ago, small gang of KKK members set a northerners house on fire in Georgia. The man is what they call a Carpetbagger, or someone from the north that brings to much with them to the south. He and his family were not in the house at the time and are not hurt, but are in terrible condition with nowhere to go. In addition, earlier this week in Mississippi a single mother was found in her room stabbed to death. The authorities believe that the act was because she supported Reconstruction. Her children, ages 2 and 4, are currently with their aunt and uncle in a safer place.

Texas Reconstruction has Ended!

At long last, the reconstruction of Texas has ended. In March of 1870, Texas ceased reconstruction for good. Many Texans are not happy that the Radical Republicans are still in power, and especially since they claim that if they oppose Governor Davis in any way, the police will threaten them. The Governor is only trying to help keep Texas in order and prevent another war. In our next election in 1872, maybe the democrats will have more seats in the legislature and will reduce the governors power. Only the future will tell. As for the Freedmen, they now live in rural areas and some continue to work for white land owners while others have set out to own their own land. Texas Reconstruction is over! Maybe now the U.S will have peace at last!

Created By
Macie Swett


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