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Hostile HeartlandRacism, Repression, and Resistance in the Midwest$
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Brent M. S. Campney

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042492

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042492.001.0001

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Indiana during Reconstruction

Indiana during Reconstruction

“This negro elephant is getting to be a pretty large sized animal”

(p.54) 3 Indiana during Reconstruction
Hostile Heartland

Brent M. S. Campney

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the response of whites in Indiana to the influx of blacks from the South and their concentration within the state during Reconstruction. First, it examines white efforts to subordinate blacks, especially during the surges of racist violence which marked the beginning and end of this period. Second, it explores the motivations for this violence, particularly its overtly political nature during the Exodus of 1879-1880, when a surge of southern blacks threatened, whites feared, to tip the electoral balance between Republicans and Democrats. Third, it analyzes the geographical patterns associated with this violence, including the proliferation of sundown towns. Finally, it assesses the implications of this violence for the history of Indiana and situates it in the historiography of the Midwest generally.

Keywords:   racist violence, Exodus of 1879-1880, sundown towns, historiography

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