Reconstruction Era Visuals Project

The broadside poster was, during the 19th century, one of the primary ways of alerting a community to news and developments in the area. Often posted in a prominent local area, such as a wall, they were, in a way, like the Facebook of America in the 1800s. Mine is fictional, but could possibly be an actual poster from the Reconstruction era.

Southerners would often label Northerners who came down South to lease plantations, open businesses and schools, etc. as ¨carpetbaggers¨, named so for the cheap bags that many carried with them, usually made from pieces of carpet, stitched together. Oftentimes, they were viewed as being slimy, lower-class opertunists who were off to rip off ¨oppressed¨ White Southerners. However, many were middle- or upper-middle class, and a lot of them were Union soldiers who chose to stay down South after the Civil War. And a lot of them became teachers, out to educate African-Americans who were denied the ability to read and write by slaveowners. So, the carpetbaggers were actually quite the positive force in the post-war South, and their legacy was warped by succeeding generations of racist Southern ¨propaganda¨.

My broadside poster was intended to mimic, to the best of my ability, the broadside posters of the day. This went up to including the word ¨Negro¨ rather than ¨Black¨ or ¨African-American¨, which, although now considered to be offensive, was widely used back then, and continued to be so until roughly the 1960s or so. I also used hyphens for certain words that would have been hyphenated back in the today, such as ¨tonight΅ being spelled ¨to-night¨. I also based the headline about freedmen and the eagle off an anti-immigration and anti-slavery poster from the 1850s, found here: (Links to an external site.)

Overall, I think I did a superlative job of imitating the posters, and I hope that I get a good grade on this project.