A New England Boy and Reconstruction
DOI link for A New England Boy and Reconstruction
A New England Boy and Reconstruction book
The Civil War had closed but three years earlier and 1868 was the year in which the freedmen of the South were enfranchised and for the first time as mass took part in government. Conventions with black delegates voted new constitutions all over the South; and two groups of laborers—freed slaves and poor whites—dominated the former slave states. The social classes of the town were built partly on land-holding farmers and more especially on manufacturers and merchants, whose prosperity was due in no little degree to the new and high tariff. The early members of the family supported themselves on little farms of a few acres; then drifted to town as laborers and servants, but did not go into the mills. Physically and socially our community belonged to the Dutch valley of the Hudson rather than to Puritan New England, and travel went south to New York more often and more easily than east to Boston.