Graphic of part of the Emancipation Proclamation
Rights and POwer: The POlitics of Reconstruction
Link to Part 1 of Section 4: Presidential Reconstruction Link to Part 2 of Section 4: Congress and Civil Rights Link to Part 3 of Section 4: The National Debate Over Reconstruction; IMpeachment; and the Election of Grant Link to Part 4 of Section 4: Reconstruction Government in the South Link to Biographies in Section 4

Biographical Sidebar:
Mifflin Gibbs and Jonathan Gibbs

The sons of an African American minister in Philadelphia, Mifflin Gibbs (1823-1915) and Jonathan Gibbs (1827-1874) had remarkable careers before becoming involved in Reconstruction politics.

Mifflin Gibbs

A building contractor active in the antislavery movement, Mifflin Gibbs left Philadelphia for California in 1850 to take part in the gold rush. In 1855, he founded the state's first black newspaper, which campaigned for granting California blacks the right to vote.

Previous page Previous Next Next page Link to the Gallery for Section 4

Three years later, Gibbs moved to British Columbia, where he became involved in mining and railroad ventures and was twice elected to the Victoria city council.

Mifflin Gibbs returned to the United States after the Civil War, studied at Oberlin College, and in 1871 moved to Arkansas, where he served as a judge in Little Rock. As an attorney, he won a case against a saloon that refused to serve black patrons.

Gibbs remained active in Republican politics into the twentieth century, and from 1897 to 1901 was U. S. consul at Madagascar.

Copyright 2003
he Meaning of Freedom: Black and White Responses to Slavery From Free Labor to Slave Labor Rights and Power: The Politics of Reconstruction The Ending of Reconstruction Epilogue: The Unfinished Revolution Additional Resources Credits for this Exhibit Link to return to Digital History Home Link to return to Reconstruction Home Introduction