American Racial History Timeline, 1860-1900


436,000 slaves in Mississippi. Negroes account for over 55% of Mississippi’s population. (Brown and Stentiford, 536)

November 6 – Abraham Lincoln becomes the first Republican elected president. (Zuczek, xlix)

December 20 – South Carolina secedes from the federal Union. (Zuczek, xlix)

1861-1865, American Civil War

Abraham Lincoln declares the Civil War a “white man’s fight” and says that no negroes, free or slaves, would be accepted into the Union forces, but reneges on his policy in 1862 due to mounting losses. Negroes fight in segregated units under white commanders. (Brown and Stentiford, 282)

1861-1865, Abraham Lincoln Administration


January-June – Ten other slaves states secede from the Union. (Zuczek, xlix)

February – Confederate States of America established with its capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. (Zuczek, xlix)

Jefferson Davis begins his term as president of the Confederate States of America, whose constitution gave recognition and protection to “the institution of negro slavery.” (Davis, xv)

Firing on Fort Sumter begins American Civil War. (Davis, xv)

Kansas admitted to the Union.

May 25 – General Benjamin Butler in Virginia declares runaway slaves “contraband of war.” (Zuczek, xlix)

June 22 – House of Representatives passes John Crittenden’s War Aims Resolution, declaring it the federal government’s purpose to preserve the Union, not to interfere with the “internal affairs” of the Southern states. (Zuczek, xlix)

July 25 – Senate passes Andrew Johnson’s War Aims Resolution, stating same as House version. (Zuczek, xlix)

August 6 – Congress passes the first Confiscation Act. (Zuczek, xlix)

November 7 – Union forces seize territory along the South Carolina coast, allowing first experiments with contraband to begin. (Zuczek, xlix)

December – Congress creates the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War to push a more aggressive Radical agenda for prosecuting the war. (Zuczek, xlix)


March 2 – Abraham Lincoln appoints Andrew Johnson military governor of occupied Tennessee. (Zuczek, xlix)

April 16 – Congress abolishes slavery in the District of Columbia andthe federal territories. (Zuczek, xlix)

May 1 – In New Orleans, General Benjamin Butler begins informal reconstruction by coordinating unionist elements in Louisiana. (Zuczek, xlix)

May 19 – Abraham Lincoln appoints Edward Stanley as provisional governor of North Carolina. (Zuczek, xlix)

May 20 – Congress passes the Homestead Act. (Zuczek, l)

June 19 – President Lincoln appoints John Phelps provisional governor of Arkansas. (Zuczek, l)

July 17 – Congress passes the Second Confiscation Act, specifically allowing the seizure of slaves from those in rebellion. Act also authorizes president to “employ” freed slaves “as necessary and proper for the suppression of the rebellion,” the first federal pronouncement mentioning the use of negroes in the service. (Zuczek, l)

July 22 – President Lincoln, at a cabinet meeting, declares his support for emancipation. (Zuczek, l)

Battle of Antietam, Maryland, between Generals Robert E. Lee and George B. McClellan gives Lincoln encouragement to issue Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. (Davis, xv)

September 22 – Following the battle of Antietam, Lincoln announces the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, giving the Confederate states three months to end the rebellion or lose their slaves. (Zuczek, l)

December 3 – Election of first congressman from Confederacy to the U.S. government, as Louisiana sends B.F. Flanders and Michael Hahn to serve in Congress until terms end in 1863. (Zuczek, l)


Construction of the transcontinental railroad leads to another wave of Asian immigration to the United States. (Brown and Stentiford, 48)


January 1 – Promulgation of the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring free slaves in areas still under rebellion against the United States. Proclamation also calls for the enlistment of negroes in the armed forces. (Zuczek, l)

Negro Union soldiers serve in all-negro units commanded by white officers. They are relegated to the duties of cooking, construction, and burying the dead, and they received lower pay that white soldiers. (Brown and Stentiford, 226)

January 15 – Governor Stanley of North Carolina resigns over the “radical” turn the Union war effort has taken. (Zuczek, l)

April 20 – West Virginia admitted to the Union. (Zuczek, l)

June 20 – Gradual emancipation begins under West Virginia’s state constitution. (Zuczek, l)

President Lincoln appoints Francis H. Pierpont provisional governor of Virginia. (Zuczek, l)

December 8 – President Lincoln delivers his proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, also called the “Ten Percent Plan.” (Zuczek, l)

Emancipation Proclamation, enlistment of blacks into Union army and navy. Lee’s invasion of the North is checked at Gettysburg, but the Union suffers many other defeats. Draft riots lead to lynching of blacks in New York City. (Davis, xv)

Fanny Kemble publishes her Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation to persuade the British to stop supporting the Confederacy. (Hinks and McKivigan, xli)


The term “miscegenation” appears for the first time in an anonymous pamphlet, Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro. (Brown and Stentiford, 526)

January 4 – Arkansas state constitutional convention opens under Lincoln’s guidelines. (Zuczek, li)

January 20 – Issac Murphy elected as provisional governor of Arkansas under the Ten Percent Plan. (Zuczek, li)

April 28 – Issac Murphy inaugurated as governor of Arkansas. (Zuczek, li)

May 21 – Congressmen from Arkansas denied admittance to federal legislature; breach between executive and Congress evident. (Zuczek, li)

July 2 – Congress passes Wade-Davis Bill as a more stringent alternative to Lincoln’s Reconstruction Plan. (Zuczek, li)

July 8 – Lincoln pocket vetoes the Wade-Davis Bill. (Zuczek, li)

Republican National Convention in Baltimore nominates Abraham Lincoln on a “National Union Party” platform of Union, victory, and reconciliation. Andrew Johnson, War Democrat of Tennessee, is chosen as his running mate. (Zuczek, li)

August 5 – Release of the Wade-Davis Manifesto, criticizing Lincoln’s veto of the Wade-Davis Bill. (Zuczek, li)

August 29 – Democratic National Convention meets in Chicago and nominates ticket of General George B. McClellan and George Pendleton. (Zuczek, li)

October 5 – Louisiana convenes its constitutional convention as per Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan. (Zuczek, li)

October 29 – Maryland adopts new constitution, abolishing slavery. (Zuczek, li)

November 8 – Abraham Lincoln reelected president, receiving nearly 75 percent of the Union soldier vote; Democrat/Union Party Andrew Johnson elected vice president. (Zuczek, li)

December 6 – Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln’s secretary of the treasury, becomes Chief Justice of the United States. (Zuczek, li)

1865-1869, Andrew Johnson Administration


States of the former Confederacy adopt laws that place free negroes in a condition similar to slavery. (Brown and Stentiford,) xxiii


2,232 negroes emigrate from the United States to Liberia between 1865 and 1868. (Brown and Stentiford, 431)

January 11 – Missouri, a border state, emancipates its slaves. (Zuczek, li)

January 16 – In Savannah, General William T. Sherman issues Special Field Order No. 15, setting aside abandoned coastal lands for use by freed slaves; the mythical federal grant of “forty acres and a mule” is born. (Zuczek, li)

January 31 – Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment, which will formally abolish slavery in the United States. It is sent to the states for ratification. (Zuczek, li)

February 13 – Virginia convenes its constitutional convention as per Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan. (Zuczek, li)

February 22 – Tennessee emancipates its slaves. (Zuczek, li)

March 3 – Congress creates, within the War Department, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands to help negroes in their transition from slavery to freedom. (Zuczek, li)

March 4 – Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated a second time as president. His address reflects his Reconstruction policy with the immoral “with malice towards none; with charity for all.” (Zuczek, li)

March 11 – Lincoln delivers speech encouraging Louisiana to investigate possibilities for limited negro suffrage. (Zuczek, li)

April 5 – William G. Brownlow elected governor of Tennessee. (Zuczek, li)

April 9 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. (Zuczek, li)

April 14 – President Lincoln is shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. (Zuczek, li)

April 15 – Lincoln dies; Andrew Johnson is sworn in as president at the Kirkwood House. (Zuczek, li)

May 1 – President Johnson authorizes military trials for the Lincoln assassins. (Zuczek, li)

May 29 – Johnson issues his first Amnesty Proclamation, which includes a liberal amnesty but requires many to appeal for a special presidential pardon. (Zuczek, li)

Johnson initiates his Reconstruction program with his Proclamation for North Carolina, appointing William W. Holden as provisional governor. (Zuczek, li)

June 13 – Johnson appoints Benjamin F. Perry and William H. Sharkey provisional governors of South Carolina and Mississippi, respectively. (Zuczek, li)

June 17 – Johnson appoints James Johnson and Andrew J. Hamilton provisional governors of Georgia and Texas, respectively. (Zuczek, li)

June 21 – Johnson appoints Lewis Parsons provisional governor of Alabama. (Zuczek, li)

July 13 – Johnson appoints William Marvin provisional governor of Florida. (Zuczek, li)

August 14 – First constitutional convention to be held under Johnson’s program opens in Mississippi; others follow through fall. (Zuczek, li)

October 2 – In Mississippi, Benjamin Humphries becomes the first governor elected under Johnson’s Reconstruction plan. (Zuczek, li)

October 18 – In South Carolina, James L. Orr is elected governor. (Zuczek, li)

November-December – Official fact finding tour of the former Confederate states by Carl Schurz and Ulysses S. Grant. (Zuczek, li)

November 6 – In Louisiana, James Madison Wells is elected governor. (Zuczek, li)

November 9 – In North Carolina, Jonathan Worth is elected governor. (Zuczek, li)

November 15 – In Georgia, Charles M. Jenkins is elected governor. (Zuczek, lii)

November 29 – In Florida, David S. Walker is elected governor. (Zuczek, lii)

December 2 – New Mississippi legislature passes “black codes” to regulate freedpeople; other former Confederate states follow. (Zuczek, lii)

December 3 – Thirty-Ninth Congress convenes and refuses to seat representatives and senators elected under Johnson’ Reconstruction plan. (Zuczek, lii)

December 13 – Congress creates the Joint Committee of Fifteen on Reconstruction. (Zuczek, lii)

In Alabama, Robert M. Patton inaugurated as governor. (Zuczek, lii)

December 18 – Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, gains ratification and becomes part of the U.S. Constitution. (Zuczek, lii)

William Lloyd Garrison’s newspaper, The Liberator, ceases publication. (Hinks and McKivigan, xlv)

Alabama – Miscegenation [Constitution]
Stated that it was the duty of the general assembly to periodically enact laws prohibiting intermarriage between whites and blacks, or with persons of mixed blood, and to establish penalties. (Jim Crow

Alabama – Miscegenation [Constitution]
Stated that it was the duty of the general assembly to periodically enact laws prohibiting intermarriage between whites and blacks, or with persons of mixed blood, and to establish penalties. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Miscegenation [Statute]
Declared a felony for any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto to intermarry with any white person. Penalty: Imprisonment in state penitentiary for life. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Railroad [Statute]
Unlawful for any freedman, Negro, or mulatto to ride in any first-class passenger cars used by white persons. Penalty: Misdemeanor punished by a fine between $50 to $500; and imprisonment in county jail until fine and costs of prosecution are paid. Half of the fines to be paid to the informer, the other half to the county treasury where offense was committed. (Jim Crow

Georgia – Miscegenation [Statute]
Unlawful for officials to issue marriage licenses to persons of African descent and the other a white person. Penalty: A misdemeanor that carried a fine between $200 and $500, or confinement in jail for three months, or both. Ministers who married such persons also guilty of a misdemeanor, and fined between $500 and $1,000, or confied in jail for six months, or both. (Jim Crow

Florida – Railroad [Statute]
Negroes or mulattoes who intruded into any railroad car reserved for white persons would be found guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, sentenced to stand in the pillory for one hour, or to be whipped, not exceeding 39 stripes, or both, at the discretion of the jury.” Whites faced the same penalty for entering a car reserved for persons of color. (Jim Crow

South Carolina – Miscegenation [Statute]
Prohibited marriage between a white person and a person of color. (Jim Crow

1866-1877, Reconstruction

Negro soldiers stationed on the Western frontier during Reconstruction. (Brown and Stentiford, 282)


Congress passes the Reconstruction Acts that suspend civilian government in the South and place the former Confederacy under military occupation. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)

February 19 – Johnson vetoes the Freedman’s Bureau Bill. (Zuczek, lii)

February 22 – Johnson’s antagonistic Washington’s Birthday Address. (Zuczek, lii)

March 27 – Johnson vetoes the Civil Rights Bill. (Zuczek, lii)

April – Ku Klux (from Greek “kuklos” or circle) founded in Pulaski, Tennessee (the “Klan” was added much later). (Zuczek, lii)

April 2 – Johnson issues proclamation formally declaring the “insurrection” at an end. (Zuczek, lii)

April 9 – Congress passes the Civil Rights Act over Johnson’s veto, the first significant piece of legislation passed over an executive veto. (Zuczek, lii)

April 3/May 1 – Race riot in Memphis, Tennessee. (Zuczek, lii)

June 13 – Congress passes the Fourteenth Amendment and sends it to the states for ratification. (Zuczek, lii)

June 21 – Congress passes the Southern Homestead Act, setting aside public lands in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, for purchase by free negroes for a $5 fee. (Hinks and McKivigan, xlv)

July 16 – Johnson vetoes the second Freedman’s Bureau Bill. (Zuczek, lii)

Congress overrides Johnson’s veto and passes the Freedman’s Bureau Renewal Act. (Zuczek, lii)

July 24 – Tennessee, after ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment, becomes the first former Confederate state readmitted to the Union. (Zuczek, lii)

July 30 – Race riot in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Zuczek, lii)

August 13 – In Texas, James W. Throckmorton becomes governor. (Zuczek, lii)

August 14-15 – National Union Movement holds its convention in Philadelphia. (Zuczek, lii)

August 20 – Johnson issues second proclamation declaring insurrection over and peace restored. (Zuczek, lii)

August 28-September 5 – Johnson’s “Swing Around the Circle” takes him on a speaking tour from Washington to Illinois. (Zuczek, lii)

October-November – Republicans are successful in congressional elections, trouncing Johnson’s conservative National Union movement. (Zuczek, lii)

November 20 – First convention of the Grand Army of the Republic, a formal organization merging together many satellite Union veterans’ groups. (Zuczek, lii)

December 17 – Supreme Court delivers Ex Parte Milligan. (Zuczek, lii)

South Carolina – Miscegenation [Statute]
Upheld 1865 law prohibiting intermarriage. (Jim Crow

Texas – Education [Constitution]
All taxes paid by blacks to go to maintaining African schools. Duty of the legislature to “encourage colored schools.” (Jim Crow

Texas – Railroads [Statute]
“All railroad companies shall attach one passenger car for the special accommodation of freedmen.” (Jim Crow

Arkansas – Education [Statute]
No Negro or mulatto would be allowed to attend any public school except one reserved for “colored persons.” (Jim Crow

Arkansas – Miscegenation [Statute]
Repeals or modifications of statutes of common laws concerning intermarriage between whites and Negroes or mulattoes would be prohibited. (Jim Crow


Alabama – Miscegenation [State Code]
Set penalties for intermarriage and cohabitation between blacks and whites. Penalties: Confinement in the penitentiary at hard labor between two and seven years. Those who issued the license or performed such a ceremony could be fined from $100 to $1,000, or imprisoned for six months, or both. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Barred court testimony discrimination [Statute]
Negroes given the right to testify on the same terms as white persons. (Jim Crow

Mississippi -Jury selection [Statute]
Negroes declared incompetent to serve as jurors. (Jim Crow

Purchase of Alaska. (Nugent, xv)

Congress passes the Anti-Peonage Act to abolish Indian-Mestizo servitude in New Mexico and the Southwest. (Hinks and McKivigan, xlv)

January 5 – Johnson vetoes bill to enfranchise negroes in the District of Columbia. (Zuczek, lii)

January 8 – Congress overrides Johnson’s veto; negro male suffrage begins in D.C. (Zuczek, lii)

January 14 – The Supreme Court renders decisions in the “Test Oath Cases,” restricting the use and limiting the effectiveness of loyalty oaths. (Zuczek, lii)

March 2 – Congress passes First Military Reconstruction Act, Tenure of Office Act, Army Appropriations Act, and Fortieth Congress Act. (Zuczek, liii)

Johnson vetoes Military Reconstruction Act, Tenure of Office Act, and Fortieth Congress Act; approves but submits formal protest to Army Appropriations Act. (Zuczek, liii)

Congress overrides presidential vetoes and passes into law Military Reconstruction, Tenure, and Fortieth Congress Acts.

March 11 – President Johnson appoints five generals to command the five military districts in the South. (Zuczek, liii)

March 22 – Congress passes, and Johnson vetoes, the Second Military Reconstruction Act. (Zuczek, liii)

March 23 – Second Military Reconstruction Act becomes law. (Zuczek, liii)

July 13 – Congress passes the Third Military Reconstruction Act. (Zuczek, liii)

July 19 – Congress vetoes the Third Military Reconstruction Act; Congress overrides the veto the same day. (Zuczek, liii)

August 12 – Johnson suspends Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and appoints General Ulysses S. Grant secretary ad interim. (Zuczek, liii)

August 17 – Johnson removes General Phillip Sheridan from command of the Fifth Military District. (Zuczek, liii)

August 26 – Johnson removes General Daniel Sickles from command of the Second Military District. (Zuczek, liii)

September 7 – Johnson issues Second Amnesty Proclamation. (Zuczek, liii)

September 23 – In Louisiana, the first state constitutional convention under Congressional Reconstruction begins. (Zuczek, liii)

October-November – Democrats score sweeping surprise victories in state contests across the North. (Zuczek, liii)

December 7 – First vote on impeachment fails in the House of Representatives. (Zuczek, liii)

December 28 – Johnson removes General John Pope as commander of the Third Military District. (Zuczek, liii)


South Carolina – Barred school segregation [Constitution]
All public schools and universities to be free and open to all persons regardless of race or color. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Voting rights protected [Constitution]
Removed the limitation of suffrage to white persons only. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Barred public carrier segregation [Constitution]
All citizens had the right to travel on all public transportation. (Jim Crow

Louisiana – Barred school segregation [Statute]
Prohibited separate schools based on race. (Jim Crow

End of Indian Wars on Southern Plains. (Nugent, 229)

January 9 – Johnson removes General E.O.C. Ord as commander of the Fourth Military District. (Zuczek, liii)

January 13 – Senate convenes and refuses to consent to Johnson’s suspension of Secretary Stanton and appointment of Ulysses S. Grant. (Zuczek, liii)

February 4 – William H. Smith of Alabama becomes the first governor elected under Congressional Reconstruction and the Military Reconstruction Acts. (Zuczek, liii)

February 21 – Johnson formally removes Stanton as secretary of war; appoints General Lorenzo for the Senate trial. (Zuczek, liii)

February 24 – House of Representatives votes to impeach President Johnson. (Zuczek, liii)

March 2-3 – House adopts eleven Articles of Impeachment and names impeachment managers for the Senate trial. (Zuczek, liii)

March 11 – Congress passes the Fourth Military Reconstruction Act. (Zuczek, liii)

March 27 – Supreme Court rules in Ex parte McCardie that Congress can restrict the court’s jurisdiction relating to “political issues.” (Zuczek, liii)

March 30 – Senate convenes as High Court of Impeachment as president’s trial opens. (Zuczek, liii)

April 16 – Republican Robert K. Scott, a carpetbagger from Ohio, is elected governor of South Carolina under the Congressional Reconstruction constitution. (Zuczek, liii)

April 20 – Georgia elects carpetbagger Rufus Bullock governor under the Congressional Reconstruction program. (Zuczek, liv)

April 23 – William W. Holden elected governor of North Carolina under the Congressional Reconstruction program. (Zuczek, liv)

May 16 – Senate votes on Article Eleven, finding Johnson “not guilty” by a vote of 35 to 19, one shy of conviction. (Zuczek, liv)

May 20 – Republican National Convention nominates Ulysses S. Grant for president, Speaker of the House Schulyer Colfax as vice president. (Zuczek, liv)

May 26 – Senate votes on Article Two, finding Johnson “not guilty” by a vote of 35 to 19, one shy of conviction; Senate adjourns as High Court. (Zuczek, liv)

May 30 – First official Memorial Day, established by the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) across the North to remember Union dead. (Zuczek, liv)

June 22 – Congress readmits Arkansas to the Union as the first state readmitted under the Republican’s plan of Reconstruction. (Zuczek, liv)

June 25 – Johnson vetoes bill readmitted Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana to the federal union; veto will be overridden and all six are readmitted over the next four weeks. (Zuczek, liv)

July 1 – Republican carpetbagger Harrison Reed becomes governor of Florida. (Zuczek, liv)

July 2 – Republican carpetbagger Powell Clayton becomes governor of Arkansas. (Zuczek, liv)

July 4 – Johnson’s Third Amnesty Proclamation. (Zuczek, liv)

July 9 – Democratic National Convention nominates ticket of Horatio Seymour of New York and Francis P. Blair, Jr. (Zuczek, liv)

July 13 – Carpetbagger Henry C. Warmoth inaugurated as governor of Louisiana. (Zuczek, liv)

July 25 – Congress passes bill dismantling the Freedman’s Bureau; all operations other than education will cease as of January 1, 1869. (Zuczek, liv)

July 28 – The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, granting equal protection under the law to all American citizens. It also confers citizenship to every person born in the United States, including former slaves.(Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)

September – Georgia legislature expels negro members and regresses on fulfilling Military Reconstruction Act requirements; congressional/military investigation begins. (Zuczek, liv)

November 3 – Ulysses S. Grant elected president. (Zuczek, liv)

December 1 – Georgia remanded to military supervision for violating Reconstruction acts. (Zuczek, liv)

December 25 – Johnson issues his Fourth Amnesty Proclamation, a general amnesty covering nearly all former confederates. (Zuczek, liv)


The South is swept by a wave of Ku Klux Klan terrorism. (Keyssar, 105)

1869-1877, Ulysses S. Grant Administration


February 25 – Congress passes the Fifteenth Amendment and sends it to the states for ratification. (Zuczek, liv)

March 4 – Ulysses S. Grant inaugurated as president. (Zuczek, liv)

March 5 – President Grant removes E.R.S. Canby from command of the Fifth Military District; reappoints Joseph Reynolds. (Zuczek, liv)

April 12 – Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of the Reconstruction Acts in Texas v. White. (Zuczek, liv)

October 4 – Tennessee, the first state readmitted, becomes the first state “redeemed” by conservatives as DeWitt Senter wins governorship. (Zuczek, liv)

October 5 – Virginia “redeemed” as elections result in a conservative legislature that will join conservative governor Gilbert C. Walker, elected in July; Virginia is the only state redeemed before readmission. (Zuczek, liv)

November 30 – Republican James L. Acorn elected governor of Mississippi under Congressional Reconstruction. (Zuczek, liv)

December 22 – Georgia directed to reconvene the 1868 legislature, which includes negroes, before Congress will consider readmission. (Zuczek, liv)

Louisiana – Barred public accommodations and carrier segregation [Statute]
Prohibited excluding passengers from railroads, streetcars, steamboats, coaches or other vehicles based on race. Allowed for a person’s removal if they did not pay the fare, or engaged in disorderly conduct, or committed an act that injured the business of the carrier. Penalty: Forfeiture of the license and closing of the place of business; offender liable to suit by the injured party to recover damages. (Jim Crow

South Carolina – Barred public accommodation segregation [Constitution]
Gave all classes of citizens without regard to race or color equal access to public, legal and political privileges. Included the right to intermarry. (Jim Crow

South Carolina – Barred public carrier segregation [Statute]
Unlawful for public carriers or any business to discriminate on account of race or color. Penalty: Fine of $1,000 and hard labor in the penitentiary for five years. Corporations that violated this act shall forfeit their business license. (Jim Crow


Acquisition of American Samoa. (Nugent, 240)


Georgia – Barred railroad segregation [Statute]
Railroads required to furnish equal accommodations to all, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Penalty: Violators could be sued, and the injured party could collect as much as $10,000. (Jim Crow

Louisiana – Anti-miscegenation [State Code]
Private or religious marriages legal to all persons of whatever race or color as well as to marriages formerly prohibited by any law of the state. No language prohibiting intermarriage or miscegenation. (Jim Crow

California finally recognizes Mexican-Americans as citizens. (Howe, 810)

The American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) is disbanded. (Hinks and McKivigan, xlv)

January 18 – Edmund J. Davis inaugurated as governor of Texas under the Military Reconstruction Acts. (Zuczek, lv)

January 26 – Despite its conservative government, Virginia is readmitted to the Union. (Zuczek, lv)

February 23 – Congress readmits Mississippi to the Union. (Zuczek, lv)

February 25 – Hiram R. Revels, senator-elect from Mississippi, becomes the first negro U.S. senator. (Zuczek, lv)

March 30 – Upon ratification, the Fifteenth Amendment becomes part of the U.S. Constitution. (Zuczek, lv)

Congress readmits Texas to the Union. (Zuczek, lv)

May 31 – Congress passes the First Enforcement Act, placing certain forms of voting harassment under federal jurisdiction. (Zuczek, lv)

June-August – In North Carolina, the “Kirk-Holden War” begins, pitting state forces against the Ku Klux Klan. (Zuczek, lv)

July 15 – Congress readmits Georgia to the federal Union for the second time. (Zuczek, lv)

October 19 – Republican carpetbagger Robert K. Scott reelected governor of South Carolina. (Zuczek, lv)

November 4 – Conservative legislature convenes, “redeeming” North Carolina. (Zuczek, lv)

December 12 – Joseph H. Rainey, the first negro to serve in the House of Representatives, takes his seat in Washington; he will serve until 1879. (Zuczek, lv)

December 19 – Lower house of North Carolina legislature passes formal Articles of Impeachment against Republican governor William W. Holden. (Zuczek, lv)


Georgia adopts the first poll tax. (Brown and Stentiford, 631)

McKay v. Campbell, Supreme Court rules that Indians, as tribal citizens, were not covered by the Fourteenth Amendment and were not citizens of the United States. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

Texas – Barred segregation on public carriers [Statute]
Public carriers prohibited from making any distinctions in the carrying of passengers. Penalty: Misdemeanor punishable by a fine from $100 to $500, or imprisonment from 30 to 90 days, or both. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Barred anti-miscegenation [State Code]
Omitted miscegenation or intermarriage statute. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Barred school segregation [State Code]
All children from five to twenty-one years of age shall have in all respects equal advantages in public schools. (Jim Crow

February 28 – Congress passes the Second Enforcement Act. (Zuczek, lv)

March 3 – Congress creates the Southern Claims Commission, which will operate until 1880. (Zuczek, lv)

March 22 – William W. Holden is convicted and removed by the North Carolina Senate, the first governor in American history thus removed. (Zuczek, lv)

April 20 – Faced with growing evidence of well-organized terrorist challenges to the Southern Republican governments, Congress passes the Third Enforcement Act (also called the Ku Klux Act; later generations added the “Klan” portion of the title.) (Zuczek, lv)

October 17 – Citing the Ku Klux Act, President Grant suspends the writ of habeas corpus in portions of up-country South Carolina and orders military/Justice Department intervention. (Zuczek, lv)

November 1 – After second readmission, Georgia is again “redeemed” with ascension of James M. Smith as governor. (Zuczek, lv)


Georgia – Education [Statute]
Called for separate schools for white and black children. Penalty: Schools that admitted both races would receive no monies from the public school fund. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Barred prison segregation [Statute]
No distinction on account of race or color or previous condition in working convicts. (Jim Crow

Decline of Ku Klux terrorism. (Keyssar, 106)

May 3 – “Liberal Republicans” bolt Grant’s Republican Party and hold convention in Cincinnati; New York Tribune owner Horace Greeley nominated for president. (Zuczek, lv)

May 22 – Congress passes the Amnesty Act, clearing nearly all former confederates from political liabilities imposed under the Military Reconstruction Acts and Fourteenth Amendment. (Zuczek, lv)

June 5-6 – Republican National Convention nominates Ulysses S. Grant for reelection. (Zuczek, lv)

July 9-10 – Democratic National Convention backs the Liberal Republicans and their candidate, Horace Greeley. (Zuczek, lv)

September – Evidence breaks about federal fraud and corruption surrounding the transcontinential railroad, ultimately leading to the “Credit Mobilier” scandal. (Zuczek, lv)

October 16 – Republican Franklin J. Moses elected governor of South Carolina. (Zuczek, lv)

November 5 – Ulysses S. Grant reelected president. (Zuczek, lv)

November 30 – Liberal Republican nominee Greeley dies. (Zuczek, lv)

December 9 – Division among Republicans in Louisiana leads the Republican legislature to impeach Republican governor Henry Clay Warmoth; although he is not removed, the governorship falls back to P.B.S. Pinchback, making him the first negro governor in U.S. history. (Zuczek, lv)


Arkansas – Barred segregation of public carriers and accommodations [Statute]
Unlawful for railroads, steamboats, stage coaches, or other public carriers to refuse to provide same accommodations as are furnished others paying the same fare. Also unlawful to deny any person paying the same sum as others accommodation at public houses of entertainment, inns, hotels or restaurants. (Jim Crow

Arkansas – Barred school segregation [Statute]
Unlawful to refuse to provide equal and like accommodations for the education of each and every youth of school age. (Jim Crow

Florida – Barred public accommodation segregation [Statute]
Prohibited discrimination on account of race in the full and equal enjoyment of public accommodations such as inns, public transportation, theaters, schools, cemeteries and places of public amusement. Did not include private schools or cemeteries established exclusively for white or colored persons. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Barred public accommodations segregation [Statute] (Jim Crow

Louisiana – Barred public accommodations and carrier segregation [Statute]
Ensured all Louisiana and U.S. citizens equal and impartial access to use all common carriers on land and water, inns and all public resorts. Penalty: Forfeiture of business license. Liable for damages in favor of the injured party. (Jim Crow

John Lynch, a negro, serves as a Congressman from Mississippi until 1882. (Brown and Stentiford, 230)

January 9 – Republican divisions in Louisiana result in disputed election and dual governments. Republicans assemble under William P. Kellogg, and conservatives under John McEnery. (Zuczek, lvi)

January 14 – Redemption of Texas as conservative Richard Coke becomes governor. (Zuczek, lvi)

February 12 – Known as the so-called “Crime of ’73,” the Silver Coinage Act takes silver out of circulation, marking a victory for fiscal contractionists and spurring a political debate for a generation. (Zuczek, lvi)

April 13 – White vigilantes murder negro and white Republicans in the Colfax Massacre in Louisiana. (Zuczek, lvi)

April 14 – Supreme Court, in the Slaughterhouse Cases, renders very narrow interpretation of the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Zuczek, lvi)

May – Grant Administration recognizes Kellogg government in Louisiana; orders McEnery to desist or face federal intervention. (Zuczek, lvi)

September 18 – Panic of 1873 begins with the failure of Jay Cooke’s investment house. (Zuczek, lvi)


All of New England has outlawed de jure segregation in schools. (Fitzgerald, 171)

January 21 – Morrison R. Waite succeeds Salmon P. Chase as Chief Justice of the United States. (Zuczek, lvi)

January 22 – Republican carpetbagger and former Union general Adelbert Ames becomes governor of Mississippi. (Zuczek, lvi)

March-May – In the Brooks-Baxter War, Republican infighting in Arkansas moves from political disputes into court fights, and finally erupts in bloodshed. (Zuczek, lvi)

May 16 – Grant recognizes Elisha Baxter as governor of Arkansas, ending Brooks-Baxter War. (Zuczek, lvi)

June – Appearance of White League in Louisiana, terrorist organization aimed at overthrowing Republican Kellogg. (Zuczek, lvi)

August 30 – White League murders Republicans in the Coushatta Massacre. (Zuczek, lvi)

September 16 – White League battles police in New Orleans; Kellogg temporarily overthrown; Grant sends federal troops to reinstate Kellogg. (Zuczek, lvi)

October-November – Democrats score sweeping victories in congressional elections; the next House of Representatives, set to convene in fall of 1875, will be under Democratic control. (Zuczek, lvi)

October 15 – Carpetbag Republican Daniel H. Chamberlain elected in South Carolina. (Zuczek, lvi)

November 10 – Arkansas is “redeemed” with the election of conservative Augustus H. Garland as governor. (Zuczek, lvi)

November 14 – Redemption in Alabama as George Houston becomes governor. (Zuczek, lvi)

December – Race riots and violence across Mississippi, as white conservatives embark on a violent, terror-based campaign to seize control at the next election. Across the South, whites adopt the term “Mississippi Plan” when referring to brutal, overt tactics. (Zuczek, lvi)


Alabama – Education [Constitution]
Separate schools to be provided for the children of citizens of African descent. (Jim Crow

A federal statute bans racial discrimination in jury selection, but becomes a dead letter in the South after 1910. (Klarman, 7)

Robert Smalls, a negro, serves as a Congressman from South Carolina until 1887. (Brown and Stentiford, 230)

January 14 – Congress passes the Specie Resumption Act to ease the recession; act temporarily releases greenbacks and silver into circulation. (Zuczek, lvii)

January 26 – Andrew Johnson becomes the only president elected to the U.S. Senate after leaving executive office. (Zuczek, lvii)

March 1 – Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1875. (Zuczek, lvii)

May – Federal officials are implicated in the “whisky ring,” a collage of importers, distillers, and wholesalers based in New York and operating to defraud the government of taxes. (Zuczek, lvii)

April 16 – Wheeler Compromise produces armistace in Louisiana by dividing the legislature between houses and parties: Democrats control the Assembly, while Republicans control the Senate. (Zuczek, lvii)

September – Widespread assaults and rioting by “white liners” across Mississippi as part of an organized reign of terror for the upcoming election. (Zuczek, lvii)

November 3 – Violence and fraud result in the “redemption” of Mississippi; conservative whites regain control of the state legislature. (Zuczek, lvii)

U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Cruikshank strips the federal government of the authority to ensure the protection of citizens attempting to vote. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)


U.S. v. Reese, Supreme Court rules that the Fifteenth Amendment did not guaratee the right of citizens to vote, but only prevented states and the federal government from using race specifically as a reason for denying the vote. (Brown and Stentiford, 800)

January 4 – Conservative legislature convenes in Mississippi. (Zuczek, lvii)

March – Federal investigation into financial dealings of Secretary of War William Belknap lead to his impeachment; Belknap resigns. (Zuczek, lvii)

March 2 – Mississippi legislature impeaches Republican governor Ames. (Zuczek, lvii)

March 27 – Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Cruikshank and U.S. v. Reese, restricts scope and use of Enforcement Acts. (Zuczek, lvii)

June 15-17 – In Cincinnati, Republican National Convention nominates Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio for president. (Zuczek, lvii)

June 27-29 – In St. Louis, Democratic National convention nominates New Yorker Samuel Tilden for president. (Zuczek, lvii)

July 7 – Hamburg Massacre in South Carolina, as election campaigning puts Republican negro militiamen against white conservative gun clubs. (Zuczek, lvii)

September 6 – King Street Riot in Charleston, as conservatives and Republicans continue to battle in South Carolina. (Zuczek, lvii)

September 16-19 – In South Carolina a three day, countywide killing spree conducted by white gun clubs earns the name the Ellenton Riot; ends with direct intervention by U.S. infantry units. (Zuczek, lvii)

October 16-17 – White attack on a Republican meeting, called the Cainhoy Riot, leads Grant to send more federal troops to South Carolina for the election. (Zuczek, lvii)

November 8 – Presidential and state elections disputed; state gubernatorial elections in South Carolina and Louisiana result in dual governments for both, while improprieties in state electoral returns deadlock the presidential decision. (Zuczek, lvii)

November 28-30 – Democrats and Republicans establish rival legislatures in South Carolina. (Zuczek, lvii)

December 6 – Republican legislature elections Daniel H. Chamberlain governor of South Carolina. (Zuczek, lvii)

December 14 – South Carolina Supreme Court and Democrat legislature declares Wade Hampton III governor of South Carolina. (Zuczek, lviii)

Texas – Voting rights [Constitution]
Required electors to pay poll tax. (Jim Crow

1877-1881, Rutherford B. Hayes Administration


The Compromise of 1877 removes the last of the federal troops from the former Confederate states. Reconstruction ends, but the Jim Crow period is not underway fully. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)

Georgia – Education [Constitution]
Schools shall be free to all children of the state, but separate schools shall be provided for white and black children. (Jim Crow

January 1 – Democrat Zebulon Vance, governor of North Carolina during the Confederacy, is sworn in as governor once again. (Zuczek, lviii)

January 2 – Florida democrats “redeem” the state by contesting their gubernatorial election but not the national one; Democrat Charles F. Drew becomes governor over Republican Marcellus Stearns, but electoral votes all go to Hayes. (Zuczek, lviii)

January 8 – In Louisiana, rival governors are sworn in; Stephen B. Packard has Republican (and federal) support, while Francis T. Nicholls is backed by Democrats. (Zuczek, lviii)

January 20 – The Federal Election Commission is established to decide the presidential contest. (Zuczek, lviii)

February – Discussion, rumors, and trips North and South occur as Commission debates presidential decision. (Zuczek, lviii)

February 26 – Wormley House “deal” negotiates a complex series of trade-offs to settle the presidential controversy. (Zuczek, lviii)

March 2 – Disputed electoral votes go to Rutherford B. Hayes. (Zuczek, lviii)

March 4 – Hayes inaugurated as president. (Zuczek, lviii)

April 3 – Hayes tells cabinet that federal troops must be withdrawn from state capitols, and must cease to interfere in state political disputes. (Zuczek, lviii)

April 10 – Federal troops leave Columbia; Hampton becomes governor and South Carolina is formally “redeemed.” (Zuczek, lviii)

April 24 – Federal troops withdraw from Baton Rouge; Nicholls becomes governor of a “redeemed” Louisiana. (Zuczek, lviii)

End of Reconstruction.

1877-1965, Jim Crow America


Alabama – Education [Statute]
Repeated separate school requirement of 1875 Constitution. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Education [Statute]
Prohibited teaching white and black children in the same school. (Jim Crow

June 18 – Congress passes the Posse Comitatus Act, severely restricting the use of federal military forces as agents of law and order in civilian society. (Zuczek, lviii)

Hall v. DeCuir, Supreme Court declares a Louisiana law ending racial segregation in interstate commerce unconstitutional. (Brown and Stentiford, 797)

In re Ah Yup, federal district court in California denies American citizenship to a Chinese immigrant on the basis of race. (Lopez, 54)


Beginning of the “Negro Exodus,” a three year period which saw the first great negro migration following the end of slavery; some 40,000 negroes migrated to Kansas from the Mississippi Valley. (Hinks and McKivigan, xlv)

South Carolina – Miscegenation [Statute]
“Marriage between a white person and an Indian, Negro, mulatto, mestizo, or half-breed shall be null and void.” Penalty: Misdemeanor, fined a minimum of $500, or imprisoned for not less than twelve months, or both. Ministers who performed such marriages faced misdemeanor charges, subject to the same penalty. (Jim Crow

Texas – Miscegenation [Statute]
Confirmed intermarriage law passed in 1858. Penalty applied equally to both parties. (Jim Crow


Mississippi – Miscegenation [State Code]
Revised state code to declare marriage between white persons and Negroes or mulattoes or persons of one-quarter or more Negro blood as “incestuous and void.” Penalty: Fine up to $500, or imprisonment in the penitentiary up to ten years, or both. (Jim Crow

In re Camille, federal district court in Oregon denies citizenship to a half white/half Indian man on the basis of race.

Black migration from the South to the West, begun in 1865, ends. The “Exodusters” sought to escape emerging Jim Crow in the former Confederacy. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)

1881, James A. Garfield Administration


Florida – Miscegenation [Statute]
Unlawful for any white person to intermarry with any Negro person. Penalty: Performing such a ceremony punishable by a fine of $1,000, “of which one-half shall be paid to the informer.” (Jim Crow

End of Indian Wars on Northern Plains. (Nugent, 229)

Former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass publishes a reminiscence of his career, entitled Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. (Hinks and McKivigan, xlv)

Tennessee enacts the first law requiring racial segregation on public trains. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)

Booker T. Washington founds the Tuskegee Institute. It builds on the example set by the Hampton Institute, founded in 1868. Washington’s leadership of the school would inspire his nickname, the “Wizard of Tuskegee.” (Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)

1881-1885, Chester A. Arthur Administration


1,700+ negroes lynched in America. (Blum, 3)


The Chinese Exclusion Act drastically limits the number of Chinese immigrants to the United States and requires all Chinese residents who leave the United States to reapply for reentry. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiii)


Pace v. Alabama, Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of Alabama’s anti-miscegenation law. (Brown and Stentiford, 535)

October 15 – Supreme Court, in the Civil Rights Cases, overturns the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and declares that the Fourteenth Amendment only covers government action. Segregation by private individuals in privately owned establishments is legal, as Court creates difference between “civil rights” and “social rights”; federal condoning of Jim Crow laws fully underway. (Zuczek, lviii)


Elk v. Wilkins, Supreme Court rules that Indians, as tribal citizens, were not covered by the Fourteenth Amendment and were not citizens of the United States. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

Arkansas – Miscegenation [State Code]
All marriages of white persons with Negroes or mulattoes declared illegal. (Jim Crow


Florida – Education [Constitution]
White and colored children shall not be taught in the same school. (Jim Crow

Florida – Miscegenation [Constitution]
“Forever” prohibited marriages between whites and blacks, or between a “white person and a person of Negro descent to the fourth generation inclusive.” (Jim Crow

1885-1889, Grover Cleveland Administration


Surrender of Geronimo and the Apaches ends the Indian Wars in the Southwest. (Nugent, 229)

August 3 – The Chinese foreign office presents the U.S. State Department with a proposal for a new treaty under which the Chinese imperial government would prohibit its subjects from emigrating to the United States and deny Chinese laborers who had returned to China the right to return to the U.S. (McClain, 191)


Florida – Railroads [Statute]
“All respectable Negro persons” to be sold first-class tickets at the same rates as white passengers and shall be provided a separate car “equally as good and provided with the same facilities for comfort as for white persons.” Penalty: Conductors and railroad companies violating the provisions of the law faced a fine up to $500. (Jim Crow

Florida – Education [Constitution]
White and colored children prohibited from being taught in the same schools. (Jim Crow

Disenfranchisement of native Hawaiians. (Nugent, 264)

July – First major reunion between Union and Confederate veterans takes place at Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania. (Zuczek, lvxiii)

Congress passes the Dawes Severalty Act, beginning official efforts to detribalize the Indians and eliminate reservations. The government divides ancestral and tribal lands and sells the portions not used for capital development. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

The Dawes Severalty Act provides American citizen to Indians after dissolution of their tribes. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

Major League Baseball imposes racial segregation in all of its member teams. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)


Mississippi – Railroad [Statute]
New depot buildings were to provide separate rooms for the sexes and the races if deemed proper by the board. Equal but separate accommodations to be provided for white and colored passengers. Penalty: Misdemeanor for railroad companies failing to comply, with a fine up to $500. Conductors who failed to enforce the law could be fined from $25 to $50 for each offense. (Jim Crow

March – The U.S. and Chinese governments reach an agreement regarding immigration. (McClain, 191)

Sept 13 – The Scott Act permanents bans the immigration or return of Chinese laborers to the United States and ended the certification (exit visa) process. (McClain, 192)

1889-1893, Benjamin Harrison Administration


Washington admitted to the Union. (Nugent, 186)

June 10 – United Confederate Veterans formally chartered. (Zuczek, lviii)

Texas – Railroads [Statute]
Railroad companies required to maintain separate coaches for white and colored passengers, equal in comfort. Penalty: Passengers refusing to sit where assigned were guilty of a misdemeanor, and could be fined between $5 and $20. (Jim Crow


Blues, ragtime, and jazz develop in Southern cities, particularly New Orleans, as the most popular music forms amongst negroes. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

The Nadir of the Negro, a historical period named by historian Rayford Logan, begins, in 1890 and runs to the mid 1910s. Lynchings, legal disenfrancisement, and the absence of political equality institutionalizes white supremacy and negro subordination. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

Franz Boas’s anthropological work eventually developed the notion of culture as distinct from race. (Brown and Stentiford, 529)


The Indian Naturalization Act grants U.S. citizenship to Indians in certain areas under certain conditions. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

In re Hong Yen Chang, federal district court in California denies American citizenship to Chinese on the basis of race.

The U.S. Census Bureau announces that the United States no longer has a “frontier of settlement.” Closing of the American frontier. (Lasch, 73)

The U.S. Census first begins to designate mulattoes as quadroons and octoroons. (Brown and Stentiford, 534)

Nonwhites excluded from the Democratic Party. (Brown and Stentiford, xviii)

November 1 – Mississippi becomes the first Southern state to alter its state constitution to legally disenfranchise blacks, using loopholes in the Fifteenth Amendment. Other Southern states follow over the next decade. (Zuczek, lviii)

Mississippi imposes a poll tax, understanding class, and literacy test for all voters. The state’s methods spread to Alabama in 1893, Virginia in 1894, and South Carolina in 1895. By 1910, all former Confederate states have some provisions in place proscribing negro voting. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

Louisiana – Railroads [Statute]
Railway companies to provide equal but separate accommodations for white and colored passengers. Penalty: Passengers or conductors not complying with the law subject to a fine of $25 or imprisonment for 20 days. Officers and directors of railway companies that fail to comply guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined between $100 and $500. Law did not apply to streetcars. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Miscegenation [Constitution]
Prohibited marriage of a white person with a Negro or mulatto or person who has one-eighth or more of Negro blood. (Jim Crow

Mississippi – Education [Constitution]
Separate schools to be maintained for white and black children. (Jim Crow


Arkansas – Railroads [Statute]
Railroad companies and their employees have power to assign passengers to the proper seat or proper waiting room for each race. Penalties: Persons not complying with this ordinance were to be fined between $10 and $200. Employees who failed to assign a passenger to the correct place were to be fined $25. Railway companies not complying with the law would be fined between $100 and $500. (Jim Crow

Alabama – Railroads [Statute]
Railroads to provide equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races, providing two or more passenger cars for each passenger train, or by dividing the passenger cars by partitions so as to create separate accommodations. Conductors were given authority to assign passengers to the proper car. Law did not apply to white or colored passengers entering the state upon railroads who purchased their tickets in another state where a similar law was not in force. Penalties: Persons who attempted to ride in the wrong railroad car would be fined $100. Railroad companies that failed to enforce the law would be fined up to $500; conductors could be fined as much as $100. (Jim Crow

Georgia – Railroad and streetcars [Statute]
All railroads to furnish equal accommodations, in separate cars, for white and black passengers. Law did not apply to sleeping-cars. Streetcar conductors to assign passengers to seats, separating the races as must as practicable. Penalty: Passengers who did not comply were guilty of a misdemeanor and could be ejected by a conductor. (Jim Crow

Texas – Railroads [Statute]
Separate coach laws strengthened. Separate coaches for white and Negro passengers to be equal in all points of comfort and convenience. Designed by signage posted in a conspicuous place in each compartment. Trains allowed to carry chair cars or sleeping cars for the exclusive use of either race. Law did not apply to streetcars. Penalty: Conductors who failed to enforce law faced misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine from $5 to $25. The railroad company could be fined from $100 to $1,000 for each trip. Passengers who refused to sit in designated areas faced fines from $5 to $25. (Jim Crow


April – In response to anti-negro violence and the rise of lynchings across the South, negro journalist Ida B. Wells begins an anti-lynching crusade that grows to international dimensions. (Zuczek, lix)

Kentucky passes a law requiring the ssegregation of coaches on interstate railroads. (Brown and Stentiford, 438)

The Geary Act extends the Chinese Exclusion Act and required all Chinese residents of the United States to carry a resident permit. Failure to carry the permit at all times was punishable by deportation or a year at hard labor. In addition, Chinese were not allowed to bear witness in court, and could not receive bail in habeas corpus proceedings. (Wikipedia)

1893-1897, Grover Cleveland Administration


Arkansas – Railroads [Statute]
All railroad companies to provide equal but separate accommodations for each race. In addition to providing separate passenger cars, the companies were to create separate waiting rooms at all passenger depots in the state. (Jim Crow

Fong Yue Ting v. United States, Supreme Court upholds the Geary Act. (

Alabama imposes a poll tax, understanding class, and literacy test for all voters. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)


In re Saito, federal district court in Massachusetts denies American citizenship to the Japanese on the basis of race.

In re Po, federal district court in New York denies American citizenship to Burmese on the basis of race.

Founding of the Immigration Restriction League. (Brown and Stentiford, 561)

Democrats in Congress repeal the remaining federal election statutes. (Brown and Stentiford, 562)

Virginia imposes a poll tax, understanding class, and literacy test for all voters. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

New Hawaiian consitution contains Jim Crow, “Mississippi” laws. (Nugent, 262)

Louisiana – Miscegenation [Statute]
Intermarriage between white persons and persons of color prohibited. (Jim Crow

Louisiana – Railroads [Statute]
Depots must provide equal but separate waiting rooms for the white and colored races. “No person shall occupy the wrong room.” Law must be posted in a conspicuous place. Penalty: Persons who insist on entering the improper place may be fined $25 or imprisoned up to 30 days. Agents failing to enforce the law guilty of misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $25 to $50. (Jim Crow


An average of 101 negroes are lynched per year. (Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, 3)


Florida – Education [Statute]
Penal offense for any persons to conduct any school, any grade, either public or private where whites and blacks are instructed or boarded in the same building, or taught in the same class by the same teachers. Penalty: Between $150 and $500 fine, or imprisonment in the county jail between three and six months. (Jim Crow

Georgia – Education [State Code]
Black and white children not allowed to attend the same school. Penalty: Teachers who taught white and black pupils in the same school would not be compensated out of the public school fund. (Jim Crow

South Carolina – Miscegenation [Constitution]
Prohibited marriage between a white person with a Negro or mulatto, or a person who had one-eighth or more Negro blood. (Jim Crow

South Carolina – Education [Constitution]
No children of either race “shall ever be permitted to attend a school provided for children of the other race.” (Jim Crow

South Carolina imposes a poll tax, understanding class, and literacy test for all voters. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

In re Gee Hop, federal district court in California denies citizenship to Chinese on the basis of race.

South Carolina constitution requires racial segregation in public education. (Brown and Stentiford, 105)

September 18 – Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute, offers the “Atlanta Compromise” at the Cotton States Exposition, telling negroes they should concentrate on economic development and self-improvement instead of demanding political equality. (Zuczek, lix)

W.E.B. Du Bois graduates as the first PhD holder from Harvard. (Brown and Stentiford, 250)


Mississippi – Education [Statute]
Separate districts established for the schools of white and black children. (Jim Crow

South Carolina – Education [Statute]
Unlawful for pupils of one race to attend schools provided for persons of another race. (Jim Crow

May 18 – The Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson upholds racial segregation on public transportation. In the 8-1 ruling, the majority reasons that legislation “is powerless to eradicate racial instincts or to abolish distinctions based upon physical differences.” Segregation, or Jim Crow, quickly spreads to education, public accomodations, housing, and employment. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

The National Association of Colored Women is founded in Washington, DC. A negro women’s middle-class organization, the NACW would become the largest negro organization in the country until the 1920s. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

In a spirited election year, which brought up issue of agrarian rights, race, sectional divisions, and the economy, the Populist Party loses its presidential bid. The breakup of the Populist Party leads to a Southern backlash against negro political activism. The Democratic Party triumphs in the South by promising white supremacy at the polls. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)


In re Rodriguez, federal district court in Texas denies American citizenship to Mexicans on the basis of race.

Arkansas – Education [Statute]
Separate colleges for teachers to be established for each race. (Jim Crow

1897-1901, William McKinley Administration

Spanish-American War, 1898-1899

Acquistion of Hawaii, Wake Island, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. (Nugent, 240)


April 25 – Williams v. Mississippi, Supreme Court rules that the states can use poll taxes and literacy tests to determine voter qualification, as these do not violate the race injunction in the Fifteenth Amendment, authorizing legal disenfranchisement and the use of poll taxes, character clauses, and understanding clauses in voting registration. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

Race riot in Wilmington, North Carolina, erupts after the Democratic Party tries to oust negro elected officials. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

United States v. Wong Kim Ark, Supreme Court rules that the U.S. government could not deny citizenship to anyone born in the United States, even someone of Chinese ancestry. (Oyez)

Louisiana – Education [Constitution]
General Assembly to establish free public schools for the white and colored races. (Jim Crow

South Carolina – Railroads [Statute]
All railroads to provide separate first-class coaches for the accommodation of white and colored passengers. Penalty: Railroad employees who violated the law were liable to a fine from $300 to $500. Section 6 of the law noted that it was legal for all persons paying second-class fare to ride in a second-class car. (Jim Crow


Georgia – Railroads [Statute]
Railroad companies had the right to assign passengers to seats and berths, and would separate white and colored passengers in sleeping cars. White and colored passengers would not be allowed to occupy the same compartment. Companies were not compelled to carry blacks in sleeping cars or parlor cars. (Jim Crow

In re Kanaka Nian, a federal district court denies citizenship to native Hawaiians on the basis of race.

December 18 – Supreme Court, in Cummings v. Richmond County (Georgia, declares segregation in the schools is legal under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Zuczek, lix)

1899-1902, American-Filipino War

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