Facts of Reconstruction.
Important account of Reconstruction in Mississippi written by an African American participant there at the time, John R. Lynch, former U.S. Congressman, 1873–1877 and 1882–1883. “In 1913 he published his Facts of Reconstruction, in an effort to set the record straight about the part played by Negroes in that tragic era. It is easily the best account of Reconstruction by a Negro participant.” (DANB)
Much on Mississippi State and U.S. Congressional politics including Lynch’s observations of the first African American U. S. Senator to serve a full term, Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi, U.S. Presidential politics, and on the Republican Party in the South.
Chapter headings include “Fusion of Democrats and Republicans in the State Election of 1873. Republican Victory;” “What Constitutes ‘Negro Domination’;” “Rise of Democratic Radicalism in the South;” “Attitude of the Hayes Administration toward the South;” “Interview with Secretary Lamar on the Retaining of Colored Men in Office;” “Mississippi and the Nullification of the Fifteenth Amendment;” and “The Interview between the Author and President Cleveland and Secretary Gresham.”
In the presidential election campaign of 1884—covered in Chapter XXII, Lynch became the first African American to chair a political party’s national convention. At the Republican held in Chicago, he was nominated by Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts and supported in his candidacy by Theodore Roosevelt of New York. Lynch presided temporarily over the convention, he writes, “the greater part of two days”. (p222)
Likely impressed by Lynch’s achievements, a previous owner of this copy affixed two near-contemporary positive assessments of Lynch’s career on the book’s endpapers. The first is the upper panel of the book’s dust jacket quoting Senator George F. Hoar of Massachusetts’ Autobiography of Seventy Years (N.Y., 1903); the second comprises two manuscript leaves, copied from J.W. Garner’s Reconstruction in Mississippi (N.Y., 1901).
“Admitted to the Chicago bar by reciprocity in 1915, [Lynch] practiced law for over twenty-five years. During these years he began writing about the Reconstruction period. An early revisionist, he anticipated the later writings of W. E. B. Du Bois and the post–World War II historians, who looked at the achievements of African-American politicians in the 1860s and 1870s with more objectivity than prior historians. Lynch published several well-documented works, beginning with The Facts of Reconstruction... He later incorporated a large section of his 1913 history of Reconstruction in his autobiography, Reminiscences of an active Life, completed shortly before his death in Chicago but not published until 1970, edited by John Hope Franklin. An accomplished African-American author and politician, Lynch was representative of a small group who worked with some success within the existing political and patronage structure to create opportunities for themselves and to fight for blacks’ civil rights.” (ANB)
Description: Facts of Reconstruction.
New York: The Neale Publishing Co., 1913. Frontispiece, 325pp. + two half-tone plates. First Edition. 8vo. Publisher’s dark blue gilt-lettered cloth, with portion of upper panel of scarce dust jacket tipped onto the front endpaper. Two manuscript leaves praising author John R. Lynch affixed to the front, free endpaper. Light rubbing at head and tail of spine and tips; slightly cocked; small discolorations at spine title and in upper joint; overall very good.
Krick 290. Not in Work.