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During the spring of 1868, some white Virginians established local branches of the Ku Klux Klan, which had been organized in Tennessee about two years earlier. It lasted only a few months in the state, but not before members committed acts of…

Early in the morning of May 1, 1866, fires damaged several African American churches in Petersburg, including the Sunday school building adjacent to one of them. Many white Virginians feared that the schools would become hotbeds of radical…

Virginia's General Assembly passed an act to create the state's first public school system on July 11, 1870. Section 47 of the act required that "white and colored persons shall not be taught in the same school, but in separate schools, under the…

Jacob Eschbach Yoder (1838-1905), a Pennsylvania native, came to Lynchburg in 1866 to help educate freedpeople. He left after a few months, but returned in 1868 and continued to teach and serve as an administrator for the African American schools in…

Virginia's public school system required racial segregation. In drawing up districts for Alexandria County (later Arlington County), the mapmaker drew what looks like a badly gerrymandered voting district with each dwelling designated as W ("white")…

Before the Civil War, churches often had black and white members, although they were segregated within the congregation. African American churches were required by Virginia law to have white ministers, and after the Civil War, many African Americans…

Before the Civil War, churches often had black and white members, although they were segregated within the congregation. African American churches were required by Virginia law to have white ministers, and after the Civil War, many African Americans…

In December 1865 Pollard Gaines, an African American, contracted with Royall H. Eubank to work his Nelson County farm, tend to all the livestock, repair buildings and fences, cut and haul firewood, fill the ice house, and cultivate the garden "for…

In December 1865 Nancy Arvin contracted with William Arvin Jr., possibly her former owner, to care for his farm for a suit of summer and winter clothing for her and three of her children and for wages for two of her other children. In the aftermath…

This November 1865 contract between William D. Floyd, of Lunenburg County, and six members of the Burnett family is a fairly typical agreement by which a landowner allowed workers to farm his land in exchange of a share of the crop that the workers…
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