The Unification Movement Of 1873
Perhaps the most significant event in post-War Reconstruction history is the short-lived organization that is the birth of the American Civil Rights Movement. The movement is founded in New Orleans in 1873 by Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard and Aristide Mary ~ and gathers 100 men ~ the top 50 black and 50 white leaders of the city. Their goals are set forth in their platform in major action items such as:
- full and equal voting rights for all men in America
- integration of all public school systems in America
- integration of all public transportation systems in America
Stepping forward to become the leading spokesman of the movement is Beauregard. He believes that all men are equal and must be treated as such under the law. While the movement instantly takes root in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Region, it falls under criticism throughout America. As newspaper accounts offer growing criticism of the movement, divisions are intentionally sewn into the members of the movement. Beauregard, on the 1st of July, 1873, publishes an address to the people of Louisiana (and beyond) informing everyone of the necessity for the Unification Movement of 1873 and its goals. A PDF file version of the following can be found here; click on the link: PDF
The movement itself falters and fails; however, Beauregard will continue to call for full civil rights for all throughout the rest of his life.
The platform of the movement will begin to be realized 100 years later during the 1970s to the present time.
In the near future, we will undertake a detailed research project, locating and photocopying the available firsthand historic documentary evidence left behind by the Unification Movement of 1873 and write a detailed accounting of the original American Civil Rights movement here. Some known documentary evidence is maintained in the Special Collections section of the Louisiana State University Library in Baton Rouge. Other documents are scattered across Louisiana and in other libraries. Suggestions concerning the location of any and all available firsthand documentary evidence is welcomed ...