Table of Contents

Introduction: on bones and their markers.
Alabama fever.
The philosopher.
The fall.
Led by a damned puppy.
A town called Fight.
Carnival of the animals.
Battle of the Colfax courthouse.
Voyage of the Ozark.
Getting away with murder.
The legacy of Cruikshank. On Easter Sunday, 1873, in the tiny hamlet of Colfax, Louisiana, more than 150 members of an all-black Republican militia were slain by rampaging white supremacists. The deadliest incident of racial violence of the Reconstruction era, the Colfax Massacre unleashed a reign of terror that all but extinguished the campaign for racial equality. This is the first full-length book to tell the history of this decisive event. Drawing on a huge body of documents, including eyewitness accounts of the massacre, as well as newly discovered evidence from the site itself, author Keith explores the racial tensions that led to the fateful encounter, and its reverberations throughout the South. In 1875, disregarding the testimony of 300 witnesses, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a conviction of eight conspirators, virtually nullifying the Ku Klux Klan Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871 and clearing the way for the Jim Crow era.--From publisher description.