|by John Adler,
tensions over the place of the recently-freed slaves in the post-war South came to a head
during the summer of 1866. A race riot in Memphis in May was followed by a more
significant race riot in New Orleans on July 30.
Congressional and state elections in the fall were crucial to the future of
Reconstruction policy. President Johnson made a campaign tour, stopping in Chicago, St.
Louis, and other cities. His rambling, inflammatory language backfired, and the Radical
Republicans won major victories at the polls.
Commentary: The New Orleans MassacreThis riot inflamed public opinion in the North, and Harpers
Weekly did its share to stir the pot. A few examples are shown in this section.
The August 25 issue (which appeared
two weeks earlier) editorialized on the July 30 riot.
The September 8 issue had a somewhat
milder Nast cartoon: "Which is the More Illegal." It compared the peaceful
political convention in New Orleans with the massacre that resulted from the attack on its
The October 27 issue stated that
"the New Orleans massacre has done more than abstract argument of a year to impress
the country with the conviction that we cannot wisely hope for peace at the South so long
as inequality of guarantees of personal and political liberty endure."
In March 1867, the Committee of
Congress appointed to investigate the New Orleans riot made its report. Nast depicted the
scene in the March 30, 1867 issue in a cartoon entitled "Amphitheatrum Johnsonium
Massacre of the Innocents at New Orleans, July 30, 1866." A week after the
cartoon appeared, General Philip Sheridan removed Mayor John Monroe, State Attorney
General Andrew Herron and Judge Edwin Abell from office.
Articles Related to the Initial Impeachment Discussions:
The President Judged by Himself
August 25, 1866, page 530
Reconstruction and How
it Works (cartoon)
September 1, 1866, pages 552-553
Which Is The More
September 8, 1866, page 569
The New Orleans Report
October 20, 1866, page 658
The New Orleans Massacre
IMarch 30, 1867, page 202
Text from Illustration of Andys Trip
October 27, 1866, pages 680-681
The Great Campaign of
September 29, 1866, page 610
October 27, 1866, page 674
King Andy (cartoon)
November 3, 1866 page 696
Shall the President be
November 3, 1866, page 690
The Popular Will
November 24, 1866, page 738
Andy Makes a Call on
Uncle Sam, Who Rises to the Occasion (cartoon)
December 1, 1866, page 768
Impeachment and General
December 15, 1866, page 786
December 22, 1866, page 803
December 29, 1866, page 818