The Freedmen's Outrage
the summer of 1865, Andrew Johnson--who became president
when Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865--had taken back
even the limited land grants made under Sherman's field
order. In the South Carolina Sea Islands, General O. O.
Howard asked the freedmen to "forgive" their former masters
and return the land to them. One Sea Islander captured the
ask us to forgive the landowners of our island. You only
lost your right arm in war and might forgive them. The man
who tied me to a tree and gave me thirty-nine lashes and who
stripped and flogged my mother and my sister and who will
not let me stay in his empty hut except I will do his
planting and be satisfied with his price and who combines
with others to keep away land from me knowing I would not
have anything to do with him if I had land of my own--that
man, I cannot well forgive.
Source: Quoted in Who Built America? v. I, 2nd ed.
African Americans argue for land
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