About the Collection

Tennessee’s history between the end of the American Civil War (1865) and the the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act often gets ignored.  We want to think that peace in 1865 ended most of the divisions between Tennesseans who voted to secede and those who remained loyal to the Union, and with slavery out of the way, Tennesseans could move forward into a brighter, more confident future.  But one big question remained—that of citizenship—and it took more than another 100 years to resolve, and in some quarters it remains a point of conflict and controversy today.