Black History Month 2023

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The Vagrancy Act of 1866

Richmond, Virginia - The General Assembly of Virginia passed the Vagrancy Act of 1866. It was an attempt to re-enslave Black Americans after the Slavery (Civil) War. The all-white government of Virginia made it a crime if an adult had no job.

On January 24, 1866, Alfred H. Terry commanded the U. S. Army in Virginia. He made a proclamation that forbade the law from being enforced, in the state.

The actions of the General Assembly led to Reconstruction of the South. It was clear white, defeated Southerners had no intention to obey Federal laws after the Slavery war. At least, this was the case when it came to Black Americans.


Vagrancy Act Full Transcript

Vagrancy Act of 1866

Background - Vagrancy Act of 1866

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