The First Vote: Recalibrating Reconstruction

African American Heritage | Fellowships

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

145 Ednam Drive Charlottesville, VA

Join us at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, where VFH Fellow Don DeBats will share some findings about the patterns of early voting ballots in the years following the American Civil War as well as his current explorations into data preserved from 1860-1900 in the poll tax books and census records of two Kentucky counties.

Though the 15th Amendment enfranchised African American men, it ultimately proved inadequate in protecting black (and poor white) suffrage. What followed was the largest contraction of voting rights in American history as the South began to reassert itself while the North remained indifferent to the plight of those affected.

Now in his fifth year of researching elections remaining from the days when U.S. citizens voted out loud, known as viva voce, DeBats is an American Studies professor from Flinders University.

Free and open to the public. A casual lunch will be provided.

Reed Smith logoThe 2016-17 VFH Fellows talks are supported by a generous contribution from Reed Smith, LLP.