1868: Adelbert Ames appointed provisional governor

Governor Adelbert Ames (MDAH Collection)
Governor Adelbert Ames

Ames was Mississippi’s 27th governor and served from 1868-1870.

Link to the catalog

1868: The “Black and Tan” Convention drafts a new constitution

Mississippi’s first biracial constitutional convention—the “Black and Tan” Convention—drafted a constitution protecting the rights of freedmen (ex-slaves) and punishing ex-Confederates. It was rejected by the voters.

1868: Ulysses S. Grant elected president of the United States

1868: Colored Citizen’s Monthly established in Jackson

The publication was established by James D. Lynch, a prominent African American who went on to serve as Secretary of State of Mississippi from 1869 to 1872.

1868: Mississippi Constitution of 1868

A convention with black participation drew up the constitution of 1868. The constitution was ratified in 1869 and established a statewide public school system, set the educable age of children as 5 to 21, and protected the voting and civil rights of former slaves.

1868: Private schools established for children of freedmen

Frank Strong letter (MDAH Collection)
Frank Strong letter

Prior to 1870 there was no statewide public education system in Mississippi. However, there were a number of places in the state where black children were taught in one-room schoolhouses. Many of these children were educated by white missionaries or teachers from the North, because few freedmen were qualified to teach and even fewer whites from the South were willing to teach freedmen.

Image:   Page from a letter dated August 10, 1868,  written by Frank Strong, a teacher in a school for African American children in Brookhaven, Mississippi, to a former teacher in the school, Anna M. Keen.  The pen and ink sketch is of a young student named Patsey.

Link to the catalog

July 9, 1868: Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution ratified

The amendment formally defined American citizenship and prohibited states from depriving people of the rights of citizenship.

Previous: 1867

Next: 1869