Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Reconstruction Congress

Long-time readers will know that I am a big fan of the late David P. Currie, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School who authored a series of books on The Constitution in Congress. He also produced two law review articles that should be of particular interest to students of the Civil War: The Civil War Congress and Through the Looking-Glass: The Confederate Constitution in Congress, 1861-1865<.

Well, I'm excited to discover that the University of Chicago Law Review posthumously published one last article by Prof. Currie that brings the series through Reconstruction: The Reconstruction Congress.

About the illustration:
A puzzling caricature, probably dealing with Reconstruction under Andrew Johnson's administration. The work is quite crudely drawn. An acrobat, with mustache and sideburns and wearing a jester's cap, holds in each hand a mask, one grinning and one frowning. His legs stretch from the head of Pennsylvania congressman Thaddeus Stevens, who holds a paper labeled "Committee of 15" and is seated on a black man, who crawls on all fours, to the head of an unidentified man (probably Johnson) who holds the U.S. Constitution. The latter's back is turned to the viewer and several geese, some alive and some dead, appear at his feet. Stevens, an abolitionist, was one of the most prominent members of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, composed of fifteen members of Congress. The fool remarks, "As yet, I have found no difficulty in standing upon my own platform."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails