Death at Cross Plains: An Alabama Reconstruction Tragedy by Gene L. Howard

By Gene L. Howard

Reconstruction within the South is a miles experiences and but little understood darkish epoch within the region’s historical past; in lots of parts it used to be marked via such violence as to were in all yet identify guerrilla battle. demise and pass Plains is the historical past of 1 such conflict, and the tale of 1 of its casualties – William Luke. 

            Luke, born in eire, used to be a former Canadian minister fleeing a checkered previous and maybe looking to redeem himself by way of provider to the black freedmen of northern Alabama. In 1869 he took a instructing submit at Talladega university, the one institution for blacks within the quarter. Later taking the placement of schoolteacher to the black railroad employees close to Talladega, Luke chanced on himself enmeshed within the net of racial antagonisms, xenophobia, and partisan clash rampant in a lot of the South.

            demise at pass Plains follows the tragic process William Luke’s lifestyles and demise and vividly depicts the hatreds and screw ups that plunged the South into its darkest days.

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Extra info for Death at Cross Plains: An Alabama Reconstruction Tragedy

Sample text

13 The journey to Alabama was long and strenuous but pleasant because of the company the men provided for each other. They shared similar interests, and their conversation was soon filled with the spiritual concerns that ordinary men found boring and uncomfortable. By the time they arrived in Talladega, Brown and Luke were friends. They arrived amid the flurry of activity around the building of the large dormitory. Foster Hall was beginning to assume an imposing size when Brown delivered the materials.

From the north a road from Kentucky and Tennessee passed through the village to southern Alabama and southern Georgia. From the Appalachian Valley to the northeast another important road from Knoxville and Rome crossed the northern route to Montgomery and Mobile. On the south side of the crossroads was a public well, a benevolent gesture to the travelers who plied the thoroughfares. About the distance of a city block north of the crossroads, a railroad ran west to east through the village. The Selma, Rome, and Dalton Railroad Company had completed laying the track two years earlier, building a loading dock to accommodate freight but only a crude office for the agent and passengers.

The carpetbagger, alien to the southern culture, displayed little tolerance for the values he did not understand and consequently brought wrath upon himself with ease. Finally, there were the more noble-minded, who did not fear even though they might vaguely realize the dangers of their mission. The apostles of enlightenment, spirited and zealous, did indeed exist. Beclouded by their idealism, such men saw only the good they expected their ministry to accomplish and were unresponsive to the discomfort that their narrow-minded righteousness stirred in others.

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