A Manner Which Would Not Have Been Permitted Towards Slaves: Race, Reconstruction, and Memory in Postwar Richmond

Time Period
1861 to 1876
Media Type
Black History
Military History
Politics & Government
Michael D. Gorman

On October 12 at 5:30 p.m., Michael D. Gorman delivered a Banner Lecture entitled “‘A Manner Which Would Not Have Been Permitted Towards Slaves’: Race, Reconstruction, and Memory in Postwar Richmond.”

The Civil War in Virginia may have ended at Appomattox, but for those affected by war, additional intense times lay ahead. How did the people of Richmond cope with the sudden influx of paroled prisoners, the presence of northern occupation forces, a devastated city, and the overwhelming refugee crisis that came in the form of thousands of newly emancipated slaves? This lecture explores Reconstruction at the symbolic center of rebellion through a detailed analysis of newly available sources, highlighting how little attention has been given to the actual events and practical realities of Reconstruction. Richmond’s rebuilding was replete with racial violence and white resistance, quite at odds with what is popularly believed about Reconstruction in Virginia.

Michael D. Gorman is a National Park Service historian and author of “A Conqueror or a Peacemaker? Abraham Lincoln in Richmond,” in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (vol. 123, no. 1 [2015]). He is widely known as an expert on Civil War Richmond.

This lecture was cosponsored with the Richmond National Battlefield Park and is free and open to the public.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Want to listen to an audio-only version of this lecture? Listen now on Soundcloud.