The Colfax Massacre

Topics: White people, Black people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 3 (901 words) Published: January 22, 2006
The Colfax Massacre, one of the bloodiest mass-murders during the Reconstruction, took place on April 13, 1873 in Colfax, Louisiana. The massacre / riot was a result of the gubernatorial elections of 1872 held in Louisiana. The election was between McEnery, the white conservative legislature candidate, and William Pitt Kellogg, a carpetbagger (a Northerner who came to the South to help the blacks) of the Radical Republican Party. The election resulted in two different outcomes. Although McEnery actually won the election, Kellogg, received the sanction of the Federal Government. Thus, President Grant sent Federal troops to uphold Kellogg. A decision could not be reached, and therefore, Louisiana had two governors in the state. The disputes over power led to the brutal massacre of over 100 blacks and 3 whites. The Colfax Massacre was an imperative event that should be included in history, remembered for its brutality and injustice, and for the inequality of the black and white race.

The Colfax Massacre was an act of pure brutality and injustice. After both the parties were allowed to hold their own offices, there was a struggle over power. The white people, afraid of the Negroes, called a mass meeting on April 1 to settle the controversy. However, when the group of whites arrived at the courthouse, they saw it had been taken by the blacks, and thus retreated. While the whites were forced away, the Negroes roamed the town armed, ravaging white property, and threatening to destroying the white mean and take the white women as wives and servants. On Easter Sunday, April 13th, the whites returned equipped with an army. The clash began as the whites began to scatter the blacks in every direction. Many of the Negroes sought shelter in the courthouse. But, the whites set the courthouse on fire and forced the blacks to surrender. Waving a white flag from a window, several white commanders went into the building to make terms of peace. However, as the whites approached...
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