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List of African-American Officeholders During the Reconstruction
Many scholars have identified more than 1,500 African American officeholders during the Reconstruction Era (1863-1877). Historian Canter Brown, Jr. noted that in some states, such as Florida, the highest number of African Americans were elected or appointed to offices after 1876 and the end of Reconstruction. The following is a partial list some of the most notable of the officeholders pre-1900.
P. H. A. Braxton, constable in King William County in 1872, collector at the United States Custom House in Westmoreland County
William E. Matthews, clerk in the United States Postal Service in Washington D.C. in 1870, the first black person to receive an appointment in that department
Josiah T. Settle, reading clerk of the Washington, D.C. House of Delegates (1872), clerk in the Board of Public Works, as an accountant in the Board of Audits, and as a trustee of the county schools for the district
Bailey, Richard. Black Officeholders During the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878 (Pyramid Publishing) Available from author.
Bailey, Richard. Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags: Black Officeholders During the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878. Montgomery: Richard Bailey Publishers, 1995.
Canter Brown, Jr. Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924. Tuscaloosa and London: The University of Alabama Press, 1998.
Eric Foner ed., Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders During Reconstruction Revised Edition. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996). ISBN0-8071-2082-0. Between 1865 and 1877, about two thousand blacks held elective and appointive offices in the South. A few are relatively well-known, but most have been obscure and omitted from official state histories. Foner profiles more than 1,500 black legislators, state officials, sheriffs, justices of the peace, and constables in this volume.
John Hope Franklin "John Roy Lynch: Republican Stalwart from Mississippi" in Howard Rabinowitz (ed.), Southern Black Leaders of the Reconstruction Era, (Urbana: 1982) and reprinted in John Hope Franklin, Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938-1988, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989
Mifflin Wistar GibbsShadow and Light: An Autobiography Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century, Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
Rabinowitz, Howard N. Southern Black Leaders of the Reconstruction Era (University of Illinois Press: 1982) Section on "Congressmen" includes profiles of "John R. Lynch: Republican Stalwart from Mississippi" by John Hope Franklin, "James T. Rapier of Alabama and the Noble Cause of Reconstruction" by Loren Schweninger, and "James O'Hara of North Carolina: Black Leadership and Local Government" by Eric Anderson.