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Community members aim to set record straight on Colfax Massacre

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:00 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:12 PM CST
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COLFAX, La. (WVUE) - Two strangers whose great ancestors were on opposite sides of the racially-charged Colfax Massacre 150 years ago have formed an unexpected friendship as they try to set the record straight. The first step was removing a monument that Louisiana officials agreed mischaracterized the violence as a riot.

A historical marker placed outside the Grant Parish Courthouse in the town of Colfax describes what it calls a riot that occurred on this site on Easter Sunday, 1873. For generations, this two-sentence description is all most people knew about an event that caused as many as one hundred deaths. The massacre followed a disputed Louisiana governor’s election in 1872. The dispute filtered down to the local level. Southern white Democrats refused to accept election results that put Reconstruction-era Republicans in office.

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