French merchant and a free woman of color and edited

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French merchant and a free woman of color, and edited by Jean-Charles Houzeau,8 Laura Foner, "The Free People of Color in Louisiana and St. Domingue' Journal of Social History, 3 (Summer1970), 406-30; Ted Tunnell, "Free Negroes and the Freedmen: Black Politics in New Orleans during the Civil War,"Southern Studies, 19 (Spring 1980), 6-7; Donald E. Everett, "Demands of the New Orleans Free Colored Popula-tion for Political Equality, 1862-1865 ' Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 38 (April 1955), 43-49; Jean-Charles Hou-zeau, My Passage at the New Orleans "Tribune ": A Memoir of the Civil WarEra, ed. David C. Rankin, trans. GeraldF. Denault (Baton Rouge, 1984), 81.9 Fred H. Harrington, Fighting Politician: Major General N. P Banks (Philadelphia, 1948), 143-46; LaWanCox, Lincoln andBlack Freedom: A Study in PresidentialLeadership (Columbia, 1981), 79-95; Houzeau, My Pas-sage at the New Orleans "Tribune," 25n34; Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (9 vols.,New Brunswick, 1953), VII, 243.10 "Diary and Correspondence of Salmon P. Chase," Annual Report of the American Historical Association,1902, p. 438; Debates in the Convention for the Revision and Amendment of the Constitution of the State ofLouisiana (New Orleans, 1864), 155, 213-14, 394, 556; Cox, Lincoln and Black Freedom, 97-99.This content downloaded from 134.250.60.5 on Sat, 21 Jan 2017 23:41:22 UTCAll use subject to
Rights and Black Life in War and Reconstruction 869a Belgian aristocrat who had been converted to the revolutionary ideas of 1848 andhad emigrated to the United States in the 1850s. In Houzeau, the Tribune's propri-etors found a man whose political outlook, like their own, had been shaped by theheritage of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. In Roudanez and theothers associated with the newspaper, Houzeau recognized "the vanguard of theAfrican population of the United States." In late 1864 the Tribune made themomentous decision to demand suffrage for the freedmen, the free blacks' "dor-mant partners." It went on to develop a coherent radical program embracing thevote, equality before the law, the desegregation of Louisiana's schools, the openingof New Orleans streetcars to blacks, and the division of plantation lands among thefreedmen. For the moment, however, black suffrage remained the Louisiana move-ment's central demand. Within the state, it did not receive a hearing. But inWashington the movement's complaints against the Louisiana government founda sympathetic audience. Contact with the cultured, economically successful NewOrleans group challenged the racist assumptions widespread even in Republicancircles and doubtless influenced Lincoln's own evolution toward a more egalitarianapproach to Reconstruction. Because of Louisiana, black suffrage became a live issuein the Congress that assembled in December 1864, torpedoing efforts to forge anagreement between Lincoln and Congress on a plan of Reconstruction andpreventing the seating of Louisiana's newly elected senators.1"Despite the Louisiana impasse, the second session of the Thirty-eighth Congresswas indeed a historic occasion, for in January Congress gave final approval to th

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