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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

[Case history of the lawsuit over the "Mississippi Plan of 1875"]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09388 Author/Creator: Place Written: s.l. Type: Manuscript document Date: 12 October 1875 Pagination: 40 p.

Case history of a lawsuit over the "Mississippi Plan of 1875" brought against Gov. Adelbert Ames to prevent him from organizing two companies of "Colored Militia" to protect blacks during the 1875 election. The lawsuit charged that such "Troops kept in peace, in the fear or apprehension that a riot or insurrection will occur, or that the laws will be obstructed, are but a standing army" and thus illegal. The lawsuit was successful, and the Election Day violence was the worst in American history. Blacks were prevented from voting, effectively ending Reconstruction in Mississippi. Seven manuscript court documents totaling 40 pages.

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