The Memphis Riots of 1866: Terror in a Black Community During Reconstruction

  title={The Memphis Riots of 1866: Terror in a Black Community During Reconstruction},
  author={J. Ryan},
  journal={The Journal of Negro History},
  pages={243 - 257}
  • J. Ryan
  • Published 1977
  • Political Science
  • The Journal of Negro History
On May 1, 1866 Memphis, Tennessee a street brawl erupted between several Irish policemen and a group of blacks recently discharged from the United States Army. The conflict quickly escalated into a full-scale battle between the police department and virtually all Negroes wearing Union blue in the downtown area. A detachment of federal troops from nearby Fort Pickering, occupying Mermphis since the end of the Civil War, intervened to halt the violence within five hours. Most of the black… Expand
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65Testimony of McGowan in Riots, 216. 66Testimony of Sharp Ibid., 214. 67Testimony of Ira Stanbrough Ibid
    Ibid., 9. 55Ibid., 180. This and nearly all of the testimonies listed below depict the atrocities in greater detail than is presented here. 56Testimony of Beecher Ibid., 148. 57Testimony of Bond Ibid
    • 47Testimony of Lucy Tibbs in Riots, 160. 48Testimony of Cynthia Townsend Ibid., 162. 49Testimony of Tibbs Ibid., 160. 50Testimony of Townsend Ibid., 163. 51"Majority," Ibid., 25. 52Testimony of Tibbs Ibid., 162. 53Testimony of Henry Bond Ibid
    It had suggested the painting of the word "smallpox" on or near the properties. 21See the testimonies of Dr
      Political Reconstruction, 56. 19"Majority" Riots
        and 3, 1866; and New York Times