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A brief moment in the sun: Francis Cardozo and Reconstruction in South Carolina

Kinghan, Neil; (2019) A brief moment in the sun: Francis Cardozo and Reconstruction in South Carolina. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the life and career of Francis Lewis Cardozo, the first African American to win election to state-wide office in the United States, in April 1868. He served as Secretary of State, then as State Treasurer, for South Carolina from 1868 to 1877. He played a significant part in developing a new constitution, in promoting land reform and public education and in securing financial stability for South Carolina. Unlike many of his peers, he was an honest and effective office holder, described by a local white newspaper as "the faithful one among the faithless many." For that reason, the white Democratic government, returning to power after Reconstruction, prosecuted him on a trumped-up charge of fraud. They secured his conviction and, briefly, his imprisonment. Condemning him proclaimed the disgrace of Reconstruction as a whole. // Cardozo was also a successful educator, at Saxton School in Charleston, between 1865 and 1868, later as Principal of the M Street High School in Washington, after his pardon and release from prison. In both schools, Cardozo's purpose was to show that African American children could succeed on the same terms as white if given the opportunity.. As a political leader, he believed that African Americans could govern alongside white people and win acceptance if they proved themselves capable. Despite his own successes, the white population was not persuaded. Racism prevailed and Reconstruction was defeated. // Cardozo was the most powerful African American leader in South Carolina. His experiences illuminate the history of Reconstruction. Yet there has been no full-length biography of him. His name has appeared regularly in histories of the period, but never at centre stage. This dissertation aims to recognise Cardozo's central role in Reconstruction and his contribution as an educator, and to demonstrate why he should be remembered now.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A brief moment in the sun: Francis Cardozo and Reconstruction in South Carolina
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10084666
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