Civil and Legal Rights
The civil rights laws of Congress brought temporary relief to Americans of African ancestry after the Civil War. Some states, including those in the Old Northwest, accepted Congress's reform laws only because assumed that they applied to Rebel states only. When the civil rights act of 1866 and 1875 mandated equal access to public facilities such as inns, theaters, and parks, northern states reluctantly followed along. Indiana also complied with the new federal policy and the state legislature adopted statutes to protect the civil rights of black citizens. State compliance with federal law did not mean that Indiana, or any other northern state, was ready to fully desegregate public places. The Supreme Court wasn't ready either. In a series of cases culminating in the Civil Rights Cases ( 1883), the court struck down civil rights statues. Indiana also softened its laws. By the turn of the century, the state resorted to de facto segregation. The following documents show the effort to achieve civil rights reform in Indiana, but the legal prescriptions rarely came to reality in the Hoosier State.
Conveyance of land. Approved March 11, 1861, Revised Statutes.
Section 1. No person except a citizen of the United States, or an alien who shall be at the time a bona fide resident of the United States, an Indian, a negro, or a mulatto or other person of mixed blood, shall take, hold, convey, devise, or pass by descent, lands, except in such cases of descent or devise as are provided for by law: And Provided further, That the marriage of a woman with an alien, and her residence with her husband in a foreign State