Gregory P. Downs and Kate Masur in the New York Times "How to Remember Reconstruction"


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Pat Young

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From the article:

Many contemporary controversies over issues like voting rights and the scope of the government have their origins in the period following the Civil War. That era, known as Reconstruction, is one of the most contentious in this nation’s history, and also one of the most misunderstood.

Congress can help fix that by passing the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act before the end of the year. The bill, passed by the House in September and now under consideration in the Senate, would empower the National Park Service to connect Reconstruction sites all around the country; encourage visitors to talk about Reconstruction at local historical sites; and help convey the full story of how America was remade after the Civil War.
 

Pat Young

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From the conclusion:

The National Park Service, which manages historic sites and interprets history all over the country, can address this. It is the steward of dozens of parks that commemorate the Civil War era, yet its only unit dedicated to Reconstruction was created two years ago, when President Obama established the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort, S.C. The bill would turn this site into a national park, helping it attract visitors and contributing to its permanence and accessibility.

More significantly, the bill expands the nation’s sense of where it can learn this history. It would establish the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, based on similar networks Congress has created for the Civil Rights Movement and the Underground Railroad. These networks foster collaboration within national parks and allow the agency to work with state and local governments and private parties interested in commemorating and interpreting American history.

The Reconstruction network could stitch together disconnected places where Reconstruction history happened. We wrote the National Historical Landmark Theme Study on Reconstruction for the service in 2017 and identified 24 National Historic Landmarks that could contribute to our understanding of that era. And we found dozens more sites, many in Southern cities, where important buildings have been preserved — like the Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., where in 1865 Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman discussed Reconstruction with a delegation of 20 black leaders. We also identified buildings on campuses of several historically black colleges founded during Reconstruction, including Hampton University in Virginia and Alcorn State in Mississippi.
 

Pat Young

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About the authors:

Gregory P. Downs, a professor of history at University of California, Davis, is the author, most recently, of “After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War.” Kate Masur, an associate professor of history at Northwestern University, recently republished John E. Washington’s “They Knew Lincoln,” the first book to address President Lincoln’s relationship with African Americans.
 

Drew

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Edited.
From the article:

"..like the Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., where in 1865 Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman discussed Reconstruction with a delegation of 20 black leaders."

I would like to know why authors Downs and Masur fail to recognize Sherman as among the most openly racist Generals in the Union Army.

Edited.
 

cash

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Edited.
From the article:

"..like the Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., where in 1865 Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman discussed Reconstruction with a delegation of 20 black leaders."

I would like to know why authors Downs and Masur fail to recognize Sherman as among the most openly racist Generals in the Union Army.

Edited.
They do recognize that, but just not in this article, since the article is not about Sherman.
 


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