With Freedom's Lawmakers, Eric Foner has assembled the first comprehensive directory of the over 1,500 African Americans who held political office in the South during the Reconstruction era. He has compiled an impressive amount of information about the antebellum status, occupations, property ownership, and military service of these officials -- who range from U.S. congressmen to local justices of the peace and constables. This revised paperback edition also contains new material on forty-five officials who were not included in the first edition.
In his Introduction, Foner ably analyzes and interprets the roles of the black American officeholders. Concise biographies, in alphabetical order, trace the life histories of individuals -- many previously unknown -- who played important parts in the politics of the period. This useful and informative volume also includes an index by state, by occupation, by office during Reconstruction, by birth status, and by topic.