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Fugitive Slave Law Repealed

Lincoln signs a repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law.

Wade-Davis Bill

Congress passes a new reconstruction plan called the Wade-Davis Bill. Unlike Lincoln’s plan, this stipulates that only those who swear never to have fought against the Union can participate in the reconstruction of state governments. In addition to requiring bans on slavery, the bill demands the disenfranchisement of Confederate leaders and the repudiation of Confederate debts. Lincoln refuses to sign the bill.

Equalization Bill

Black soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts (as well as those from other regiments) protest unequal compensation. A few months later, Congress passes the Equalization Bill, promising black Union soldiers equal pay.

State Governments Reconstructed

The Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee State governments are reconstructed under Lincoln’s 1863 plan. Congress, under the sway of Radical Republicans, recognizes neither these governments nor their representatives.

Some States Abolish Slavery

Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri abolish slavery.

New Orleans Tribune Begins Publication

In Louisiana, the New Orleans Tribune begins publication. It is one of the first African-American-run daily newspapers.

National Equal Rights League Convenes

The National Equal Rights League convenes in Syracuse, New York. Delegates are all prominent northern blacks, led by John Mercer Langston who later organized Howard University’s Law Department, and included Frederick Douglass and Octavius V. Catto. Working through state chapters, the League promotes an aggressive advocacy agenda to obtain civil rights for blacks. Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan are charged to take the lead. Philadelphia blacks, led by Catto, boycott to desegregate public transportation.

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