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The Day Freedom Died The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction

ISBN: 9780805089226 | 0805089225
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Pub. Date: 3/31/2009

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"Absorbing . . . Riveting . . . A legal thriller."Kevin Boyle,The New York Times Book ReviewFollowing the Civil War, Colfax, Louisiana, was a town like many where African Americans and whites mingled uneasily. But on April 13, 1873, a small army of white exConfederate soldiers, enraged after attempts by freedmen to assert their new rights, killed more than sixty African Americans who had occupied a courthouse.Seeking justice for the slain, one brave U.S. attorney, James Beckwith, risked his life and career to investigate and punish the perpetratorsbut they all went free. What followed was a series of courtroom dramas that culminated at the Supreme Court, where the justices' verdict compromised the victories of the Civil War and left Southern blacks at the mercy of violent whites for generations.The Day Freedom Diedis a riveting historical saga that captures a gallery of characters from presidents to townspeople, and re-creates the bloody days of Reconstruction, when the often brutal struggle for equality moved from the battlefield into communities across the nation.


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