Book Reviews -- Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction by Eric Foner

By Abbott, Richard H. | The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, April 1994 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction by Eric Foner


Abbott, Richard H., The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography


Eric Foner, the author of the magisterial Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, has once again put those who study the history of the United States in his debt. Freedom's Lawmakers provides insights not only into Reconstruction, but into African-American history and American political history as well. The book is a remarkable achievement. To produce it, Foner has used the work of a great many historians laboring in the field, but the volume also reflects his own familiarity with the primary sources. He has made especially productive use of the 1870 census. As a result of his labors, we now have a comprehensive directory of 1,465 black officeholders who served at all levels of government during the Reconstruction years. This number represents at least 75 percent of the 2,000 blacks that Foner estimates held public office at that time. One of the most important contributions of this volume, consequently, is to draw our attention to hundreds of blacks, many of them surely unknown even to specialists, who held positions in local government. As a result, as Foner observes, "the book sheds new light on black participation in public affairs after the Civil War, dispels myths about the era that still persist, and makes possible more reliable generalizations about black officials' backgrounds, occupations, and other attributes than has hitherto been possible" (p. xii).

The entries vary in length; many are only a few sentences long. Wherever possible, Foner has provided basic information about date of birth, place of habitation, prewar status, occupation, literacy, property holdings, and role in Reconstruction politics. He has also included more than one hundred illustrations. To facilitate the use of the volume by other researchers, Foner has provided a bibliography for every entry and a series of indexes that group names by state, occupation, office held, birth status, and topic (such as service in the United States armed forces or Freedmen's Bureau and access to higher education). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Book Reviews -- Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction by Eric Foner
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.