He was an American publisher and politician, a Union Army Officer, and the first African American to become governor of a U.S. state. He served as the 24th Governor of Louisiana in 1872. He was one of the most prominent officeholders during Reconstruction. During Reconstruction African Americans enjoyed a period when they were allowed to vote, acquire land, participate in the political process, seek employment and use public accommodations. Thereafter, black codes were adopted to inhibit the migration of free blacks from moving throughout the country. Mississippi was the first state to create laws that abolished the full civil rights of former slaves.
~ S. Kingsberry, 1977