- Jan 2009
- Minneapolis, MN
The history textbook by James Woodburn and Thomas Moran, Elementary American History and Government, was published for American high schools in 1914. It was still widely used when my parents were in school--my dad had a copy of it in our library when I was growing up. Here is an interesting quote from page 393 on Reconstruction
Now that the negroes, being without land or money or homes, were no longer cared for by their former masters, it seemed only right that they should be given some help and a fair start. While the intention of this law was good, the southern people said it had a bad effect. The ignorant negroes were led to believe that the government was going to support them and that they would not have to work. They stood about idly waiting for their "forty acres and a mule," and many negroes who had been faithful, hard-working slaves were becoming good-for-nothing loafers. For this reason, the southern people felt that there was a need for vagrancy laws.