Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Great Task Remaining Before Us$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823232024

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823232024.001.0001

Subscriber Login

Forgotten your password?

Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2014. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see http://www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 27 November 2015

Racial Identity and Reconstruction: New Orleans's Free People of Color and the Dilemma of Emancipation

(p.122) 7 Racial Identity and Reconstruction: New Orleans's Free People of Color and the Dilemma of Emancipation
The Great Task Remaining Before Us

Justin A. Nystrom

Fordham University Press

This chapter looks at case studies of the way the Civil War and its aftermath affected free Creoles of color. Antebellum New Orleans society was divided broadly into three groups, with Creoles of color forming the vital middle ground between bound black slaves and free whites. Because these Creoles both obscured the relationship between race and freedom and served as a model to those slaves who would be free, white governments passed a series of laws increasingly restricting Creoles' freedoms. The war and early fall of New Orleans changed this three-tiered system in dramatic and unexpected ways. The ensuing end of slavery destroyed Creoles' former racial identity and forced them into a more rigid social structure of white and nonwhite. Many families reacted by taking a series of small steps across several generations to assume a white identity in this new bichromatic society—with varying degrees of success.

Keywords:   Creoles, Civil War, Antebellum New Orleans, racial identity, social structure

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .