Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Emancipation / Reconstruction
Creating opportunities for education was a priority. Before the end of 1865, former slaves established a school that would later become Talladega College. Similar institutions appeared across the state in the following decades, producing a robust network of schools and colleges serving the African American community.
Freedom also brought uncertainty over how to make a living and the relationships of African Americans to their former owners. Some sought new homes and new opportunities by relocating, but many remained on the land they had worked prior to the war. The federal Freedmen’s Bureau helped black farmers negotiate new labor agreements with white landowners.
State government, integrated for the first time, attempted to diversify the economy by promoting railroads and the iron industry, but mounting state debt and a national financial crisis hindered recovery.
In 1874, white conservatives won state elections. They soon wrote a new constitution reducing the size of government and centralizing power in Montgomery.
On April 24, 1867, African Americans in Florence nominated John Rapier to serve as voting registrar for an upcoming statewide vote, the first to include black men. Reflecting the magnitude of the moment, the group expressed "a solemn sense of the great responsibilities now resting upon us as enfranchised citizens."
Erected 2019 by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Education • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1865.
Location. 32° 22.678′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery AL 36130, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Secession & Confederacy / Civil War (a few steps from this marker); Industrialization / Iron Boom (a few steps from this marker); Cotton State / Slavery (within shouting distance of this marker); Alabama Territory / Path to Statehood (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March (within shouting distance of this marker); Resistance and War / Alabama Fever (within shouting distance of this marker); Populism / 1901 Constitution (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montgomery.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 161 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 26, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.