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Book Cover
Author Bahde, Thomas William, author.

Title The life and death of Gus Reed : a story of race and justice in Illinois during the Civil War and Reconstruction / Thomas Bahde.

Published Athens : Ohio University Press, [2014]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  305.896073077 BAHD    AVAILABLE
Physical description xii, 226 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Series Ohio University Press series on law, society, and politics in the Midwest.
Ohio University Press series on law, society, and politics in the Midwest.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-221) and index.
Contents Georgia Roots -- Illinois in Wartime -- Black Springfield -- A White Man's Country -- The Underworld -- The Penitentiary -- Epilogue: Springfield, 1908 -- Appendix A: Timeline of Known Dates in the Life of Augustus "Gus" Reed -- Appendix B: Nativity of Springfield's Black Population, 1860, 1870, 1880 -- Appendix C: Sangamon County Convicts Sent to Illinois State Penitentiary by Year and Race, 1860/80 -- Appendix D: Criminal Cases in Sangamon County Circuit Court, 1870/80 -- Appendix E: Disposition of Criminal Cases (Continuance and Appearance) in Sangamon County Circuit Court, 1870/80.
Summary "Gus Reed was a freed slave who traveled north as Sherman's March was sweeping through Georgia in 1864. His journey ended in Springfield, Illinois, a city undergoing fundamental changes as its white citizens struggled to understand the political, legal, and cultural consequences of emancipation and Black citizenship. Reed became known as a petty thief, appearing time and again in the records of the state's courts and prisons. In late 1877, he burglarized the home of a well-known Springfield attorney--and brother of Abraham Lincoln's former law partner--a crime for which he was convicted and sentenced to the Illinois State Penitentiary. Reed died at the penitentiary in 1878, shackled to the door of his cell for days with a gag strapped in his mouth. An investigation established that two guards were responsible for the prisoner's death, but neither they nor the prison warden suffered any penalty. The guards were dismissed, the investigation was closed, and Reed was forgotten. Gus Reed's story connects the political and legal cultures of white supremacy, Black migration and Black communities, the Midwest's experience with the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the resurgence of nationwide opposition to African American civil rights in the late nineteenth century. These experiences shaped a nation with deep and unresolved misgivings about race, as well as distinctive and conflicting ideas about justice and how to achieve it"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Reed, Augustus, 1846?-1878.
African Americans -- Illinois -- Springfield -- Biography.
Freedmen -- Illinois -- Springfield -- Biography.
African American prisoners -- Crimes against -- Illinois -- History -- 19th century.
African Americans -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Illinois -- 19th century.
Discrimination in criminal justice administration -- Illinois -- History -- 19th century.
Racism -- Illinois -- History -- 19th century.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- Illinois.
Springfield (Ill.) -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century.
Illinois -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
ISBN 9780821421048 (hardback : acid-free paper)
0821421042 (hardback : acid-free paper)
9780821421055 (paperback : acid-free paper)
0821421050 (paperback : acid-free paper)
9780821444948 (pdf)