national Equal Rights League; Pennsylvania's chapter of the league successfully lobbied for an 1867 state law integrating streetcars and for ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1869. Philadelphia's first two interracial elections highlight the continued need to look more closely at Reconstruction in the North. Although the 1870 election came off with no violence owing to the presence of federal troops, the riot that occurred in 1871 might just have well occurred in postwar Memphis or New Orleans. With the Republican Party squeamish about calling in federal troops and facing mounting threats of violence, city officials called the black soldiers of the Fifth Brigade into the contested wards to quiet the disorder. Catto was shot before he could arm himself, by a gunman who was familiar with his activism and who identified him closely with the ascendant Republican Party. In some sense, his death was not in vain, as the Republicans swept to victory in the elections, and Philadelphians briefly closed ranks and mourned the young man as another of the Civil War's victims. But a few years passed before there was a trial, and though everyone seemed to know who killed Catto, no one was convicted of
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 29, 2012
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