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After the war, the United States government attempted to bring former Confederate states back into the Union by "reconstructing" Southern society. President Andrew Johnson favored a conservative course of action. Radical Republicans, however, aggressively promoted civil rights reform by enfranchising African Americans, building public schools in the South, and modernizing the Southern economy. Southerners resisted the government's efforts, often violently, and Northern backers of Reconstruction gradually abandoned their cause. Reconstruction ended when Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South in exchange for Democrats' willingness to support the 1876 election of Rutherford B. Hayes over New York's Governor Samuel J. Tilden.

The Ku Klux Klan in New York
Ku Klux Klan Robe and Hood, c. 1920
Free but Still Persecuted
The Thirteenth Amendment (1865)
Abolishment of Slavery
Ticket to the Celebration of the 15th Amendment (1870)
Ulysses S. Grant,
War Hero & U.S. President