Reconstruction - All Images

Louisiana Legislators in 1868

Poster with text from the Reconstructed Constitution depicting African-American leaders in Louisiana. At center is a full length portrait of Oscar J. Dunn, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, seated at a desk. Surrounding him are 29 bust length portraits of African American delegates to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1868.

Louisiana Legislators in 1868

"Riot in New Orleans" by Theodore R. Davis

This illustration from Harper's Weekly depicts the 1866 riot in New Orleans. During this conflict, former Confederates—including the local police—attacked Radical Republicans who at the 1864 Constitution Convention.

"The Massacre at New Orleans"

Editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast created this representation of the July 30, 1866 riot in New Orleans. During this conflict, former Confederates attempted to take control of the state government away radical Republicans.

Lieutenant Governor Oscar Dunn

The creator of this c. 1870 portrait of Louisiana Lieutentant Governor Oscar J. Dunn is unknown. Dunn, a native of New Orleans, was the first African American elected lieutenant governor of any state.

Lieutenant Governor Oscar Dunn

"Bateman's National Picture"

This c. 1867 illustration is an idealized representation of the reconciliation between North and South after the Civil War. As the founding fathers look on, an eagle covers the country with an American flag, symbolizing its reunification.

Governor William Pitt Kellogg

Governor of Louisiana from 1873 to 1877, Vermont native William Pitt Kellogg was the state's last Republican governor until 1980.

Governor William Pitt Kellogg

"Isaac and Rosa. Emancipated slave children from the free schools of Louisiana".

This c. 1863 photograph features two students, both former slaves, attending the free schools of Louisiana.

Governor Michael Hahn

From 1864 to 1865, Unionist Michael Hahn served as the nineteenth governor of Louisiana. Born in Germany, Hahn and his family arrived in New Orleans around 1840.

Governor Michael Hahn

Governor Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback

Republican Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback served as governor of Louisiana from 1872 to 1873. The Union veteran was the first African American to serve as governor of any U.S. state.

Governor Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback

Gov. Francis T. Nicholls in Confederate Uniform

A brigadier general in the Confederate Army, Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls lost an arm and a leg in Civil War battles. He served two nonconsecutive terms as governor of Louisiana and was chief justice of the state supreme court.

Gov. Francis T. Nicholls in Confederate Uniform

Governor Murphy J. Foster

Murphy J. Foster was elected the thirty first governor of Louisiana in 1892 and re-elected in 1896. His grandson, also named Murphy J. Foster, was elected governor in 1996.

Governor Murphy J. Foster

General Phillip Sheridan

President Ulysses S. Grant appointed former Union General Philip Sheridan military governor of the Fifth Military District in 1867. Sheridan led an investigation of the New Orleans Riot of 1866, which led to the mayor's removal from office.

General Phillip Sheridan

The First Vote

This image entitled, “The First Vote”, circa 1867 depicts an African American man casting his ballot during Reconstruction in Louisiana.

The First Vote

"Murder of Louisiana sacrificed on the altar of radicalism"

In this 1871 illustration, President Ulysses S. Grant and Congress turn a blind eye to the controversial election of William P. Kellogg as governor of Louisiana. Kellogg holds up a heart he has just extracted from the body of the female figure of Louisiana. Two freedmen stretch the body of Louisiana across the sacrificial altar. Enthroned behind the altar sits Grant, holding a sword. His attorney general, George H. Williams, the winged demon perched behind him, directs his hand. At left, three other leering officials watch the operation, while at right women, representing various Confederate states, look on in obvious distress. South Carolina, kneeling closest to the altar, is in chains.

"Murder of Louisiana sacrificed on the altar of radicalism"

John McEnery

Many Louisianans considered Democrat John McEnery the winner of the 1872 gubernatorial election. Controversy after the election, however, eventually resulted in a victory for Republican candidate William Pitt Kellogg.

John McEnery

The inauguration of Governor Nicholls on the balcony of St. Patrick's Hall, New Orleans, January 8th, 1877

This illustration depicts the January 1877 inauguration of Gov. Francis Nicholls at St. Patrick's Hall in New Orleans. Republicans contested the results of the election and meanwhile swore in their own candidate as governor. Nicholls was eventually named the victor as part of the Compromise of 1877, which also settled the contested presidential election and effectively ended Reconstruction. In 1891 St. Patrick's Hall housed the city's Criminal Court and was the site of the infamous trial of a group of Italian men accused of assassinating Police Chief David Hennessy. When the trial ended without any convictions, a mob broke into the jail and lynched 11 Italian prisoners.

The inauguration of Governor Nicholls on the balcony of St. Patrick's Hall, New Orleans, January 8th, 1877

Oscar J. Dunn

Oscar James Dunn became the Louisiana's lieutenant governor in 1868. He was one of the first black men to hold executive office in the United States.

Oscar J. Dunn

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