Black and Radical Republican officeholders during Reconstruction.

The Invention of “Carpetbaggers” and the Impossible Politics of Reconstruction-Era Towns

The Invention of “Carpetbaggers” and the Impossible Politics of Reconstruction-Era Towns

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Nov. 9 2017 3:10 PM
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What It Takes

The freedmen and Radical Republicans who managed to win power in local governments during Reconstruction.

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Photo illustration by Slate. Photo byHarper's Weekly.

To learn more about this members-only podcast series, visit Slate.com/Reconstruction.

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In the second episode of Reconstruction: A Slate Academy, Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore how town and county politics unfolded in the South after the war. They discuss the lives of two Northern men who gained local office, Tunis Campbell, a black man who held a variety of positions in Georgia, and Albert T. Morgan, a white Radical Republican who served as a sheriff and state legislator in Mississippi.

Their guest is Ed Ayers, president emeritus of the University of Richmond and author of The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America.

Supplementary reading for this episode: