Skip to main content

Reconstruction, 1865-1877: Books

Resources for studying Reconstruction in the United States, 1865-1877

Library Catalog

The UT Tyler Libraries Catalog includes circulating books, reference books, books on microfilm and microfiche, state documents, and thousands of e-books.

Finding Book Citations

Databases with Full-Text Books

Online Document Sets

Finding Primary Sources in the Catalog

“A primary source is firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. The nature and value of a source cannot be determined without reference to the topic and questions it is meant to answer. The same document, or other piece of evidence, may be a primary source in one investigation and secondary in another. The search for primary sources does not, therefore, automatically include or exclude any category of records or documents.” (Yale University Library)

Primary sources may include diaries, letters, speeches, interviews, autobiographies, personal narratives, eyewitness accounts, memoirs, or government documents. They may be published or unpublished, printed or handwritten, on microfilm or fiche or online.

Start your search in the UT Tyler catalog with a subject or keyword subject, then enter one of the following words as a separate subject, then click on search.  

Sources [will pull up collections of documents]
Diaries
Correspondence
Interviews
Personal narratives

You may also want to try for certain keywords in the title, usually the subtitle, such as "documentary history," "letters," or "papers." You will almost certainly get some false hits, but you can weed through them.

 

 

Reconstruction subject headings in the catalog

General books on Reconstruction will usually have at least one Library of Congress assigned subject heading that starts off as either Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) or just Reconstruction, although the latter can also bring up "reconstruction" used in other situations and other places of the world.

For a broad look at books and ebooks available in the UT-Tyler Library, go to SwoopSearch Advanced Search, enter Reconstruction U.S. history 1865-1877, use the adjacent drop down to choose Subject Terms, then look down under Limit and find the box on the right for Catalog Only.  Then click on Search.  You should get over 200 books, some duplicated in paper and online.

You may want to limit that to a particular state or area, so you can add Texas or Louisiana in the second search box, or West (U.S.) and then Search.

Other possible search terms include:

African Americans--Southern States--Politics and government--19th century
African Americans--Texas--Civil rights--History--19th century
African Americans--Texas--History--19th century
African Americans--Texas--Politics and government--19th century
African Americans--Texas--Social conditions--19th century
African Americans--Southern States--Politics and government--19th century
Constitutional history--Southern States
Death -- United States -- Psychological aspects -- History -- 19th century
Freedmen--Texas--History--19th century
Freedmen--Texas--Sources
Grand Army of the Republic--History
Minorities--Violence against--Texas--History--19th century
Police, State--Texas--History--19th century
Racism--Texas--History--19th century
Radicalism--Southern States--History--19th century
Reconstruction--Social aspects
Reconstruction--Texas--Sources
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--African American troops
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--Texas--Case studies
Southern States--Politics and government--1865-1890
Southern States--Race relations--Political aspects--History--19th century
Texas.  Constitutional Convention, 1868-69
Texas--Politics and government--1865-1950
Texas--Race relations--History--19th century
Texas State Police--History
United States.  Army--History--History--1865-1898
United States.  Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands--History
United States--History--Civil  War (1861-1865)--Influence
United States--History--Civil War (1861-1865)--Veterans

These subject headings will also work well in WorldCat and America:  History and Life.

 

Reference Books

Davis, Lenwood G. and Janet L. Sims-Wood, comp.  The Ku Klux Klan:  A Bibliography.  Westport, Conn.:  Greenwood Press, 1984.  Ref. E668 .D3 1984.  Great for sources published before about 1982.  Follow up with America:  History and Life database, WorldCat, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

McPherson, Edward.  The Political History of the United States of America During the Period of Reconstruction.  Washington, D.C.:  Philp & Solomons, 1871.  Reprint ed. New York:  Da Capo Press, 1972.  Ref. E668 .M17 1972.  Over 600 pages of primary source materials through 1870.

Wallace, Ernest, David M. Vigness and George B. Ward.  Documents of Texas History.  2d ed.  Austin:  Texas State Historical Association, 2002.  Ref. F386 .W32 2002.  The Reconstruction period includes:
Johnson's Amnesty Proclamation, May 29, 1865
Johnson's Proclamation of the Restoration of Civil Government for Texas, June 17, 1865
Granger's Proclamation Abolishing Slavery in Texas, June 19, 1865
John H. Reagan's Fort Warren Prison Letter on Reconstruction, August 11, 1865
President Johnson's Proclamation Recognizing the Restoration of Civil Government in Texas, August 20, 1866
The First Congressional Reconstruction Act, March 2, 1867
The Second Reconstruction Act, March 23, 1867
The Third Reconstruction Act, July 19, 1867
Chief Ten Bears' Speech Setting Forth the Case of the Comanches at the Council of Medicine Lodge, October 20, 1867
The Ritual of a Secret Society, June 4, 1868
Texas v. White:  The Constitutionality of Reconstruction, 1869
The Constitution of the State of West Texas, January, 1869
The Constitution of 1869, February 8, 1869
The Tax-Payers' Convention, September 22-25, 1871--Report of the Committee of Twenty-one on Violations of Constitution and Laws, Report of the Committee of Twenty-one on Taxes and Statistics
The Semi-Colon Court:  The Rodriguez Case, January 5, 1874
President Grant Refuses to Support Davis, January 12 and 17, 1874

Clark, Thomas D., ed.  Travels in the New South:  A Bibliography.  Vol. 1--The Postwar South, 1865-1900:  An Era of Reconstruction and Readjustment.  Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press, 1962.  Ref. Z1251.S7 C38 v.1.  An evaluative bibliography describing published accounts of visitors traveling through the South, including Texas.  "To see ourselves as others see us."

Winther, Oscar Osburn and Richard A. Van Orman.  A Classified Bibliography of the Periodical Literature of the Trans-Mississippi West (1811-1967).  Westport, Conn.:  Greenwood Press, 1970.  Ref. Z1251.W5 W53 1972.  Excellent index to early historical articles on the area west of the Mississippi, broken into subjects.  Follow up with America:  History and Life to get more current journal articles.

Cummins, Light Townsend and Alvin R. Bailey, Jr., eds.  A Guide to the History of Texas.  New York:  Greenwood Press, 1988.  Ref. Z1339 .G84 1988.  Excellent historiographies of various periods in Texas history, current as of about 1986.  Ralph A. Wooster wrote the chapter "The Civil War and Reconstruction in Texas," noting and evaluating all major sources.  The update to this book is Glasrud, Bruce A., Light Townsend Cummins, and Cary D. Wintz, Discovering Texas History. Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press, 2014.  The Library doesn't have a copy but I do.  If you want to see it, email me and I'll put it on the hold shelf.  Carl  H. Moneyhon did the Civil War and Reconstruction chapter, and it is significant because there's been so much new research done since 1988.

Winkler, Ernest W. and Llerena B. Friend.  Check List of Texas Imprints, 1861-1876.  Austin:  Texas State Historical Association, 1963.  Ref. Z1339 .W5 v.2.  An older book, but fascinating, because it lists all known items published in the state of Texas between 1861 and 1876, and tells where they are.

Browse the Library Collection

If you're still not sure of a topic for your paper, look around in the stacks and see what books we have.

The books about Reconstruction fall mostly at E668.  Here are more specific call number areas:

African-American history--Texas--E185.93 .T4 (and other states alphabetically)
Andrew Johnson's Administration, April 15, 1865-1869--E666-E670
Reconstruction, 1865-1877--E668
Southern history--F215
Texas in Reconstruction--F391, but it's mixed in with general Texas history
Local Texas history--F392
Texas State Police--HV7571.T4
History of the Republican Party in Texas--JK2358.T4
Texas Constitutional conventions--JK4825
Texas Government--JK4895