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By Gene L. Howard

Reconstruction within the South is a miles reports and but little understood darkish epoch within the region’s heritage; in lots of parts it was once marked through such violence as to were in all yet identify guerrilla struggle. loss of life and move Plains is the background of 1 such conflict, and the tale of 1 of its casualties – William Luke. 

            Luke, born in eire, was once a former Canadian minister fleeing a checkered prior and maybe looking to redeem himself by way of carrier to the black freedmen of northern Alabama. In 1869 he took a educating put up at Talladega university, the one institution for blacks within the quarter. Later taking the location of schoolteacher to the black railroad employees close to Talladega, Luke stumbled on himself enmeshed within the internet of racial antagonisms, xenophobia, and partisan clash rampant in a lot of the South.

            loss of life at move Plains follows the tragic process William Luke’s existence and dying and vividly depicts the hatreds and screw ups that plunged the South into its darkest days.

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Extra info for Death at Cross Plains: An Alabama Reconstruction Tragedy

Sample text

The subjected southerners could do nothing to reach the roots of the very real problems caused by a lost war and a ruined economy, but they couldand didstrike at the people who contributed to their plight; and amid their frustration, it seldom mattered whether their victims were actually guilty or merely symbolic. Traditionally, history has tended to relate all violence during this era to organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and to portray the victims as innocent idealists. In reality, there can be no doubt that some of the deaths and assaults were unrelated to politics.

The dormitory project required equipment and supplies not available in Alabama.  William Luke helped oversee its construction. (Talladega College Historical Collections) material. Brown had with him an estimate of items needed to complete the building: quarry stone, doors, windows, and a range of hardware fixtures. The Reverend Cravath, AMA field superintendent for the South, would help him arrange for the purchase and shipment of the materials to Talladega. 10 When Brown stopped by the association offices on Elm Street in downtown Cincinnati, an unexpected introduction provided him with a traveling companion back to the school.

Title.  Calvert; a gentleman and a friend. Page vii Contents Acknowledgments ix Foreword xi I. Cross Plains in 1870 1 II. The Morning After 7 III. William Luke's Introduction to Alabama 18 IV. William Luke As Minister 26 V. Ku Klux Klan Terrorism 34 VI. A New Start for William Luke 41 VII. Community Antagonism to William Luke 50 VIII. Violence Erupts in Cross Plains 61 IX. The Trial and Klan Justice 75 X. Aftermath of the Tragedy 93 XI. Justice Denied 111 Epilogue 120 Notes 125 Bibliographical Note 141 Index 147 Page ix Acknowledgments My experience with the Cross Plains story began in late 1978, when Lane Weatherbee, editor of the Piedmont Independent-Journal, shared several articles with me about a mass hanging that was part of the city's history.

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