time period


Putting a divided nation back together after so brutal a conflict (an estimated 750,000 war-related deaths) would be made more difficult because of uncertainty over the new status of emancipated Blacks. The success in painting African descendants as “inferior” and “sub-human” for so long meant a new set of warring parties (Black versus White) faced off in battles of citizenship, land ownership and other access to resources.

The Lowcountry offered some of the best examples of Black efforts to change the deeply seeded images and limits on people of color, although they were given that opportunity for only a few years. Many of the social, economic and political transformations of this era were designed to offer relief from rule by a few landed gentries, to a more democratic society. However, attitudes towards race took those changes in directions looking backward to a South relying on second class placement for people of color. Successes during the era can only suggest what a 20th and 21st-century region, state and nation could look like, and offer a model for future political and economic adjustments embracing all citizens.

Charleston branch of the Freedman’s Bank for freed slaves established. By 1873, the bank had 5,500 depositors and assets of nearly $350,000.