As more African Americans migrated North in the aftermath of the Civil War, some northerners’ opinions about freedmen changed. Political cartoons can be important evidence for historians investigating popular opinion. In this lesson, students will analyze two cartoons, drawn by Thomas Nast, to chart the evolution of Northern attitudes toward freedmen during Reconstruction.
Image: Political cartoon titled "The Union as It Was" made by Thomas Nast in 1874. From the Library of Congress.