In his article on “The Freedmen’s Bureau Schools in Texas, 1865–1870,” historian Alton Hornsby, Jr. cited increasing racial prejudice, the growth of the KKK, and spread of violence as factors limiting the success of the establishing black schools in Texas in the late 1860s. He wrote:

Growing violence of the Ku Klux Klan variety occupied the major part of the [Freedmen’s Bureau] reports coming from Texas in late 1868 and early 1869. This violence, coupled with intimidation and discrimination, was listed repeatedly as the major factor hampering Negro education. General Reynolds reported in the fall of 1868 that juries in Texas were beginning to exhibit flagrant examples of racial discrimination in their evaluation of testimony and in their verdicts. Ku Klux Klansmen “practiced barbarous cruelties upon the freedmen,” and Negro morale was at its lowest point since the war. Reynolds said that the Klansmen were “most numerous, bold, and aggressive east of the Trinity River. . . The murder of negroes is so common as to render it impossible to keep accurate account of them.

This cartoon illustration originally appeared in The Crisis (Vol. 19, No. 5:264).


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