STAKE CLAIM OR TAKE FLIGHT: THE BIRTH OF SOUTHERN CONVENTIONS AFTER THE CIVIL WAR
POSTBELLUM SOUTHERN CONVENTIONS
Although more attention has been paid to the Colored Conventions movement in the antebellum era, more conventions continued and flourished in the era after the Civil War. Formerly enslaved persons seized the opportunity to freely organize, defying escalating attempts to deny their civil rights.
The Colored Conventions movement flourished in the South as well as the North following the Civil War. Formerly enslaved persons seized the opportunity to freely organize, defying escalating attempts to deny their civil rights. Explore the following pages of this section to learn more about the conventions themselves and their delegates and attendees.
Below is map that shows where Colored Conventions were held after the Civil War. Click on each point to read the minutes of the convention. Some minutes are still unavailable.
Map rendered by Samantha de Vera. Data used for the map above is based on Colored Conventions Projects’ records from Spring 2017.
Forty-nine Colored Conventions are known to have met in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia from 1865 to 1879.
Analyzing the basic information of when and where these conventions met allows distinct patterns in convention data to emerge. Certain states and cities hosted conventions repeatedly, drawing upon the organizational skills and enthusiasm of their residents and existing infrastructure to facilitate the arrival of large groups of delegates again and again.
Colored Conventions occurred throughout the United States in the postbellum years though some distinct regional characteristics marked the southern conventions. The charts below illustrate the variations in types of conventions between those that occurred in southern states and all of the Colored Conventions from this period.
All of the visualizations below highlight patterns and trends in the data about southern postbellum Colored Conventions.
Hover over any of the charts or maps to see more in-depth information.
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia held forty percent of the southern Colored Conventions held in 1836. Mississippi remains a conspicuous absence, hosting no conventions that we know of. Eighteen different cities and towns throughout the South are known to have hosted Colored Conventions.
Building upon the types of conventions charted above, this map plots the forty-nine southern conventions in this period using colors that correspond with convention type. Click on the dots to learn more about each convention.
Visualizations were made using data compiled by members of the Colored Conventions Project. Listings of information about southern Colored Conventions current to April 2016 were provided to the authors by James Casey and Sarah Patterson.
Southern conventions, 1865-1879
Below are more visualizations that explore southern Colored Conventions. Hover over the bars to find out their exact numerical values.
Rendered by Samantha de Vera using PiktoChart. These visualizations were made using data compiled by members of the Colored Conventions Project. Listings of information about southern Colored Conventions current to April 2016 were provided to the curators by James Casey and Sarah Patterson.