I’m late (as usual) BUT February 23rd in 1870 Mississippi was FORMALLY readmitted to the Union!

Along with S. Carolina, Mississippi was one of only TWO states in the union in 1860 in which the majority of the states population were enslaved. Mississippi joined the confederacy ‘cause it heard the rest of the union talmbout “all men are created free and equal” AND THE HELL YOU SAY, THEY PAID FAIR AND SQUARE FOR THOSE PEOPLE THEY STOLE FROM ANOTHER CONTINENT. So they bounced.

Anyway, blah blah blah, Civil War. Yakety smakety… Emancipation Proclamation. All of Mississippi had been declared “in rebellion” in the Proclamation, and Union forces accordingly began to free slaves in the U.S.-controlled areas of Mississippi at once. According to one Confederate lieutenant from Mississippi, slavery was the cause for which the state declared secession from the Union, saying that “This country without slave labor would be completely worthless … We can only live & exist by that species of labor: and hence I am willing to fight to the last.”

Where was I? OH. The confederacy lost and in order to come back to the union, Congress required Southern states to draft new constitutions guaranteeing African-American men  the right to vote(Is *here* where I say that Black WOMEN weren’t allowed to vote until 1965, orrrr?). The constitutions also had to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment*, which granted African Americans equal protection under the law.

Two days after Mississippi was readmitted to the union, Hiram Revels was sworn into office as a U.S. senator, becoming the first African-American to sit in Congress. Southern Democrats opposed seating Revels. They based their opposition on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, which had held in 1857 that blacks could not be citizens. They argued that since no black man was a citizen before the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, Revels couldn’t satisfy the requirement for nine years’ prior citizenship.

In 1875 white conservatives in the state came up with the “Mississippi Plan” to insure their victory in the upcoming elections. This plan used intimidation of black voters and outright fraud to guarantee that white Democrats would take control of the state government. I…just want to take a moment of silence while we all look at the current republican plan of action regarding black votes. Also if you don’t know that republicans and dems switched sides, I’m gonna need you to read a g-ddamn book.

White Democrats took control of the judicial branch of government as well in 1876, and Congressional Reconstruction in Mississippi was all but finished. The next year saw the official end of Reconstruction, with the Compromise of 1877 that made Rutherford B. Hayes President of the United States, removed all military forces from the former Confederacy, and the authorized southern states to “deal with blacks without northern influence.” Even in this environment, Black Mississippians continued to be elected to local office. It would be another 100 years before another Black would be elected to the Senate (Edward Brooke, Massachusetts 1967-79).

Black residents were deprived of all political power after white legislators passed a new state constitution in 1890 specifically to “eliminate Black people [“the n-word”] from politics”, according to the state’s Democratic governor, James K. Vardaman. It erected barriers to voter registration and instituted electoral provisions that effectively disenfranchised most black Mississippians and many poor whites. Estimates are that 100,000 black and 50,000 white men were removed from voter registration rolls in the state over the next few years. Seeing the success of this deliberate “Mississippi Plan”, South Carolina and other states followed it and also achieved white Democratic dominance.

Anyway, welcome back Mississippi, I guess. So glad to see how much has changed in 150ish years!

*This completely ignores the fact that the 13th Amendment allows slavery/involuntary servitude if you are punished of a crime and WOW HOW SURPRISING THEY STILL MANAGED TO KEEP SLAVERY UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME. It’s almost like this country cannot function without slave labor. I…feel like I read that before RECENTLY. Like EARLIER IN THIS SAME FACT.