In the history of the United States, carpetbagger was a derogatory term applied by former Confederates to any person from the Northern United States who came to the Southern states after the American Civil War; they were perceived as exploiting the local populace. The term broadly included both individuals who sought to promote Republican politics (which included the right of African Americans to vote and hold office), and those individuals who saw business and political opportunities because of the chaotic state of the local economies following the war. In practice, the term carpetbagger was often applied to any Northerner who was present in the South during the Reconstruction Era (1863–1877). The term is closely associated with "scalawag", a similarly pejorative word used to describe native White southerners who supported the Republican Party-led Reconstruction.

White Southerners commonly denounced "carpetbaggers" collectively during the post-war years, fearing they would loot and plunder the defeated South and be politically allied with the Radical Republicans.[1] Sixty men from the North, including educated free blacks and slaves who had escaped to the North and returned South after the war, were elected from the South as Republicans to Congress. The majority of Republican governors in the South during Reconstruction were from the North.

Historian Eric Foner argues:

... most carpetbaggers probably combine the desire for personal gain with a commitment to taking part in an effort "to substitute the civilization of freedom for that of slavery". ... Carpetbaggers generally supported measures aimed at democratizing and modernizing the South – civil rights legislation, aid to economic development, the establishment of public school systems.[2]

Since the end of the Reconstruction era, the term has been used to denote people in analogous historical situations, often to describe people who move into a new area to for purely economic or political reasons, despite not having ties to that place.

1872 cartoon depiction of Carl Schurz as a carpetbagger

Etymology and definition

The term carpetbagger, used exclusively as a pejorative term, originated from the carpet bags (a form of cheap luggage made from carpet fabric) which many of these newcomers carried. The term came to be associated with opportunism and exploitation by outsiders. The term is now used in the United States to refer to a parachute candidate, that is, an outsider who runs for public office in an area without having lived there for more than a short time, or without having other significant community ties.

In the United Kingdom at the end of the 20th century, carpetbagger developed another meaning: in British English it refers to people who join a mutual organization, such as a building society, in order to force it to demutualize, that is, to convert into a joint stock company. Such individuals are seeking personal financial gain through such actions.[3]


The Republican Party in the South comprised three groups after the Civil War, and white Democratic Southerners referred to two with derogatory terms. "Scalawags" were white Southerners who supported the Republican party, "carpetbaggers" were recent arrivals in the region from the North, and freedmen were freed slaves.[4] Although "carpetbagger" and "scalawag" were originally terms of opprobrium, they are now commonly used in the scholarly literature to refer to these classes of people. Politically, the carpetbaggers were usually dominant; they comprised the majority of Republican governors and congressmen. However, the Republican Party inside each state was increasingly torn between the more conservative scalawags on one side and the more Radical carpetbaggers with their black allies on the other. In most cases, the carpetbaggers won out, and many scalawags moved into the conservative or Democratic opposition.

Most of the 430 Republican newspapers in the South were edited by scalawags—20 percent were edited by carpetbaggers. White businessmen generally boycotted Republican papers, which survived through government patronage.[5][6]

Reforming impulse

Beginning in 1862, Northern abolitionists moved to areas in the South that had fallen under Union control.[7] Schoolteachers and religious missionaries went to the South to teach the freedmen; some were sponsored by northern churches. Some were abolitionists who sought to continue the struggle for racial equality; they often became agents of the federal Freedmen's Bureau, which started operations in 1865 to assist the vast numbers of recently emancipated slaves. The bureau established schools in rural areas of the South for the purpose of educating the mostly illiterate black and Poor White population. Other Northerners who moved to the South did so to participate in the profitable business of rebuilding railroads and various other forms of infrastructure that had been previously destroyed during the war.[8][9]

During the time most blacks were enslaved, many were prohibited from being educated and attaining literacy. Southern states had no public school systems, and upper-class white Southerners either sent their children to private schools (including in England) or hired private tutors. After the war, hundreds of Northern white women moved South, many to teach the newly freed African-American children. There they joined like-minded Southerners, most of which were employed by the Methodist and Baptist Churches, who spent much of their time teaching and preaching to slave and freedpeople congregations both before and after the Civil War.[10][11]

Economic motives

Initiatives such as the Southern Homestead Act, Sherman's field orders, and Reconstruction-era legislation by Radical Republicans aimed to strip the land, assets, and voting rights of Southerners believed to have supported the Confederates during the war. Although the stated purpose of these initiatives was to empower freedmen politically and economically, many carpetbaggers were businessmen who purchased or leased plantations. They became wealthy landowners, hiring freedmen and white Southerners to do the labor through the development of sharecropping. Within a year of Andrew Johnson's presidency, most of what was left of the South's white elite had been restored to power. Men who had avoided bankruptcy regained their plantations and re-established businesses.

Carpetbaggers also established banks and retail businesses. Most were former Union soldiers eager to invest their savings and energy in this promising new frontier, and civilians lured south by press reports of "the fabulous sums of money to be made in the South in raising cotton." Foner notes that "joined with the quest for profit, however, was a reforming spirit, a vision of themselves as agents of sectional reconciliation and the South's "economic regeneration." Accustomed to viewing Southerners—black and white—as devoid of economic initiative, the "Puritan work ethic," and self-discipline, they believed that only "Northern capital and energy" could bring "the blessings of a free labor system to the region."[12]

Carpetbaggers tended to be well educated and middle class in origin. Some had been lawyers, businessmen, and newspaper editors. The majority (including 52 of the 60 who served in Congress during Reconstruction) were veterans of the Union Army.[13]

Leading "black carpetbaggers" believed the interests of capital and labor were identical, and that the freedmen were entitled to little more than an "honest chance in the race of life."[14]

Many Northern and Southern Republicans shared a modernizing vision of upgrading the Southern economy and society, one that would replace the inefficient Southern plantation regime with railroads, factories, and more efficient farming. They actively promoted public schooling and created numerous colleges and universities. The Northerners were especially successful in taking control of Southern railroads, aided by state legislatures. In 1870, Northerners controlled 21% of the South's railroads (by mileage); 19% of the directors were from the North. By 1890, they controlled 88% of the mileage; 47% of the directors were from the North.[15]

Examples of prominent carpetbaggers in state politics


Union General Adelbert Ames, a native of Maine, was appointed military governor and later was elected as Republican governor of Mississippi during the Reconstruction era. Ames tried unsuccessfully to ensure equal rights for black Mississippians. His political battles with the Southerners and African Americans ripped apart his party.[16]

The "Black and Tan" (biracial) constitutional convention in Mississippi in 1868 included 29 white Southerners, 17 Southern freedmen and 24 non-southerners, nearly all of whom were veterans of the Union Army. They included four men who had lived in the South before the war, two of whom had served in the Confederate States Army. Among the more prominent were Gen. Beroth B. Eggleston, a native of New York; Col. A. T. Morgan, of the Second Wisconsin Volunteers; Gen. W. S. Barry, former commander of a Colored regiment raised in Kentucky; an Illinois general and lawyer who graduated from Knox College; Maj. W. H. Gibbs, of the Fifteenth Illinois infantry; Judge W. B. Cunningham, of Pennsylvania; and Cap. E. J. Castello, of the Seventh Missouri infantry. They were among the founders of the Republican party in Mississippi.

They were prominent in the politics of the state until 1875, but nearly all left Mississippi in 1875 to 1876 under pressure from the Red Shirts and White Liners. These white paramilitary organizations, described as "the military arm of the Democratic Party", worked openly to violently overthrow Republican rule, using intimidation and assassination to turn Republicans out of office and suppress freedmen's voting.[17][18][19]

Albert T. Morgan, the Republican sheriff of Yazoo, Mississippi, received a brief flurry of national attention when insurgent white Democrats took over the county government and forced him to flee. He later wrote Yazoo; Or, on the Picket Line of Freedom in the South (1884).

On November 6, 1875, Hiram Revels, a Mississippi Republican and the first African-American U.S. Senator, wrote a letter to U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant that was widely reprinted. Revels denounced Ames and Northerners for manipulating the Black vote for personal benefit, and for keeping alive wartime hatreds:

Since reconstruction, the masses of my people have been, as it were, enslaved in mind by unprincipled adventurers, who, caring nothing for country, were willing to stoop to anything no matter how infamous, to secure power to themselves, and perpetuate it. ... My people have been told by these schemers, when men have been placed on the ticket who were notoriously corrupt and dishonest, that they must vote for them; that the salvation of the party depended upon it; that the man who scratched a ticket was not a Republican. This is only one of the many means these unprincipled demagogues have devised to perpetuate the intellectual bondage of my people. ... The bitterness and hate created by the late civil strife has, in my opinion, been obliterated in this state, except perhaps in some localities, and would have long since been entirely obliterated, were it not for some unprincipled men who would keep alive the bitterness of the past, and inculcate a hatred between the races, in order that they may aggrandize themselves by office, and its emoluments, to control my people, the effect of which is to degrade them.[20]

Elza Jeffords, a lawyer from Portsmouth, Ohio who fought with the Army of the Tennessee, remained in Mississippi after the conclusion of the Civil War. He was the last Republican to represent that state in the U.S. House of Representatives, having served from 1883 to 1885. He died in Vicksburg sixteen days after he left Congress. The next Republican congressman from the state was not elected until eighty years later in 1964: Prentiss Walker of Mize in Smith County, who served a single term from 1965 to 1967.

North Carolina

Corruption was a charge made by Democrats in North Carolina against the Republicans, notes the historian Paul Escott, "because its truth was apparent."[21] The historians Eric Foner and W. E. B. Du Bois have noted that Democrats as well as Republicans received bribes and participated in decisions about the railroads.[22] General Milton S. Littlefield was dubbed the "Prince of Carpetbaggers", and bought votes in the legislature "to support grandiose and fraudulent railroad schemes". Escott concludes that some Democrats were involved, but Republicans "bore the main responsibility for the issue of $28 million in state bonds for railroads and the accompanying corruption. This sum, enormous for the time, aroused great concern." Foner says Littlefield disbursed $200,000 (bribes) to win support in the legislature for state money for his railroads, and Democrats as well as Republicans were guilty of taking the bribes and making the decisions on the railroad.[22] North Carolina Democrats condemned the legislature's "depraved villains, who take bribes every day"; one local Republican officeholder complained, "I deeply regret the course of some of our friends in the Legislature as well as out of it in regard to financial matters, it is very embarrassing indeed."[21]

Escott notes that extravagance and corruption increased taxes and the costs of government in a state that had always favored low expenditure. The context was that a planter elite kept taxes low because it benefited them. They used their money toward private ends rather than public investment. None of the states had established public school systems before the Reconstruction state legislatures created them, and they had systematically underinvested in infrastructure such as roads and railroads. Planters whose properties occupied prime riverfront locations relied on river transportation, but smaller farmers in the backcountry suffered.

Escott claimed, "Some money went to very worthy causes—the 1869 legislature, for example, passed a school law that began the rebuilding and expansion of the state's public schools. But far too much was wrongly or unwisely spent" to aid the Republican Party leadership. A Republican county commissioner in Alamance eloquently denounced the situation: "Men are placed in power who instead of carrying out their duties ... form a kind of school for to graduate Rascals. Yes if you will give them a few Dollars they will liern you for an accomplished Rascal. This is in reference to the taxes that are rung from the labouring class of people. Without a speedy reformation I will have to resign my post."[21]

Albion W. Tourgée, formerly of Ohio and a friend of President James A. Garfield, moved to North Carolina, where he practiced as a lawyer and was appointed a judge. He once opined that "Jesus Christ was a carpetbagger."[23] Tourgée later wrote A Fool's Errand, a largely autobiographical novel about an idealistic carpetbagger persecuted by the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.[24]

South Carolina

A politician in South Carolina who was called a carpetbagger was Daniel Henry Chamberlain, a New Englander who had served as an officer of a predominantly black regiment of the United States Colored Troops. He was appointed South Carolina's attorney general from 1868 to 1872 and was elected Republican governor from 1874 to 1877. As a result of the national Compromise of 1877, Chamberlain lost his office. He was narrowly re-elected in a campaign marked by egregious voter fraud and violence against freedmen by Democratic Red Shirts, who succeeded in suppressing the black vote in some majority-black counties.[25] While serving in South Carolina, Chamberlain was a strong supporter of Negro rights.

Some historians of the early 1930s, who belonged to the Dunning School that believed that the Reconstruction era was fatally flawed, claimed that Chamberlain was later influenced by Social Darwinism to become a white supremacist. They also wrote that he supported states' rights and laissez-faire in the economy. They portrayed "liberty" in 1896 as the right to rise above the rising tide of equality. Chamberlain was said to justify white supremacy by arguing that, in evolutionary terms, the Negro obviously belonged to an inferior social order.[26]

Charles Woodward Stearns, also from Massachusetts, wrote an account of his experience in South Carolina: The Black Man of the South, and the Rebels: Or, the Characteristics of the Former and the Recent Outrages of the Latter (1873).

Francis Lewis Cardozo, a black minister from New Haven, Connecticut, served as a delegate to South Carolina's 1868 Constitutional Convention. He made eloquent speeches advocating that the plantations be broken up and distributed among the freedmen. They wanted their own land to farm and believed they had already paid for land by their years of uncompensated labor and the trials of slavery.[26]


Henry C. Warmoth was the Republican governor of Louisiana from 1868 to 1874. As governor, Warmoth was plagued by accusations of corruption, which continued to be a matter of controversy long after his death. He was accused of using his position as governor to trade in state bonds for his personal benefit. In addition, the newspaper company which he owned received a contract from the state government. Warmoth supported the franchise for freedmen.[27]

Warmoth struggled to lead the state during the years when the White League, a white Democratic terrorist organization, conducted an open campaign of violence and intimidation against Republicans, including freedmen, with the goals of regaining Democratic power and white supremacy. They pushed Republicans from political positions, were responsible for the Coushatta Massacre, disrupted Republican organizing, and preceded elections with such intimidation and violence that black voting was sharply reduced. Warmoth stayed in Louisiana after Reconstruction, as white Democrats regained political control of the state. He died in 1931 at age 89.[27]

Algernon Sidney Badger, a Boston, Massachusetts native, held various appointed federal positions in New Orleans only under Republican national administrations during and after Reconstruction. He first came to New Orleans with the Union Army in 1863 and never left the area. He is interred there at Metairie Cemetery.[28]

George Luke Smith, a New Hampshire native, served briefly in the U.S. House from Louisiana's 4th congressional district but was unseated in 1874 by the Democrat William M. Levy. He then left Shreveport for Hot Springs, Arkansas.[29]

A cartoon threatening that the KKK will lynch scalawags (left) and carpetbaggers (right) on March 4, 1869, the day Horatio Seymour, a Democrat, will supposedly become President. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Independent Monitor, Sept. 1, 1868. The cartoonist had actual local politicians in mind. A full-scale scholarly history analyzes the cartoonː Guy W. Hubbs, Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman ̈(2015) excerpt.


George E. Spencer was a prominent Republican U.S. Senator. His 1872 reelection campaign in Alabama opened him to allegations of "political betrayal of colleagues; manipulation of Federal patronage; embezzlement of public funds; purchase of votes; and intimidation of voters by the presence of Federal troops." He was a major speculator in a distressed financial paper.[30]


Tunis Campbell, a black New York businessman, was hired in 1863 by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to help former slaves in Port Royal, South Carolina. When the Civil War ended, Campbell was assigned to the Sea Islands of Georgia, where he engaged in an apparently successful land reform program for the benefit of the freedmen. He eventually became vice-chair of the Georgia Republican Party, a state senator and the head of an African-American militia which he hoped to use against the Ku Klux Klan.[27]


The "Brooks–Baxter War" was a factional dispute, 1872–74 that culminated in an armed confrontation in 1874 between factions of the Arkansas Republican Party over the disputed 1872 election for governor. The victor in the end was the "Minstrel" faction led by carpetbagger Elisha Baxter over the "Brindle Tail" faction led by Joseph Brooks, which included most of the scalawags. The dispute weakened both factions and the entire Republican Party, enabling the sweeping Democratic victory in the 1874 state elections.[31]

William Furbush

William Hines Furbush, born a mixed-race slave in Carroll County, Kentucky in 1839, later gained an education in Ohio. He migrated to Helena, Arkansas in 1862. After returning to Ohio in February 1865, he joined the Forty-second Colored Infantry. After the war, Furbush migrated to Liberia through the American Colonization Society, where he continued to work as a photographer. He returned to Ohio after 18 months and moved back to Arkansas by 1870. Furbush was elected to two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, 1873–74 (from an African-American majority district in the Arkansas Delta, made up of Phillips and Monroe counties.) He served in 1879–80 from the newly established Lee County.[32][33][34]

In 1873 the state passed a civil rights law. Furbush and three other black leaders, including the bill's primary sponsor, state senator Richard A. Dawson, sued a Little Rock barkeeper for refusing to serve their group. The suit resulted in the only successful Reconstruction prosecution under the state's civil rights law. In the legislature Furbush worked to create a new county, Lee, from portions of Phillips, Crittenden, Monroe and St. Francis counties in eastern Arkansas, which had a black-majority population.

Following the end of his 1873 legislative term, Furbush was appointed as county sheriff by Republican Governor Elisha Baxter. Furbush twice won reelection as sheriff, serving from 1873 to 1878. During his term, he adopted a policy of "fusion", a post-Reconstruction power-sharing compromise between Populist Democrats and Republicans. Furbush was originally elected as a Republican, but he switched to the Democratic Party at the end of his time as sheriff. Democrats held most of the economic power and cooperating with them could make his future.[35]

In 1878, Furbush was elected again to the Arkansas House. His election is notable because he was elected as a black Democrat during a campaign season notorious for white intimidation of black and Republican voters in black-majority eastern Arkansas. He was the first-known black Democrat elected to the Arkansas General Assembly. [35]

In March 1879 Furbush left Arkansas for Colorado.[35] He returned to Arkansas in 1888, setting up practice as a lawyer and co-founding the until 1888, where he established himself as an attorney. In 1889, he co-founded the African American newspaper National Democrat. He left the state in the 1890s after it disenfranchised blacks as voters. Furbush died in Indiana in 1902 at a veterans' home.[35]


Carpetbaggers were least numerous in Texas. Republicans controlled the state government from 1867 to January 1874. Only one state official and one justice of the state supreme court were Northerners. About 13% to 21% of district court judges were Northerners, along with about 10% of the delegates who wrote the Reconstruction constitution of 1869. Of the 142 men who served in the 12th Legislature, some 12 to 29 were from the North. At the county level, Northerners made up about 10% of the commissioners, county judges and sheriffs.[36]

George Thompson Ruby, an African American from New York City who grew up in Portland, Maine, had worked as a teacher in New Orleans from 1864-1866, when he migrated to Texas. There he was assigned to Galveston as an agent and teacher for the Freedmen's Bureau. Active in the Republican Party and elected as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1868-1869, Ruby was later elected as a Texas state senator and had wide influence. He supported construction of railroads to support Galveston business. He was instrumental in organizing African-American dockworkers into the Labor Union of Colored Men, to gain them jobs at the docks after 1870. When Democrats regained control of the state government in 1874, Ruby returned to New Orleans, working in journalism. He also became a leader of the Exoduster movement. Blacks from the Deep South migrated to homestead in Kansas in order to escape white supremacist violence and the oppression of segregation.[36]


The Dunning school of American historians (1900–1950) viewed carpetbaggers unfavorably, arguing that they degraded the political and business culture. The revisionist school in the 1930s called them stooges of Northern business interests. After 1960 the neoabolitionist school emphasized their moral courage.[37]

Modern use

United Kingdom

Building societies

Carpetbagging was used as a term in Great Britain in the late 1990s during the wave of demutualizations of building societies. It indicated members of the public who joined mutual societies with the hope of making a quick profit from the conversion.[38] Contemporarily speaking, the term carpetbagger refers to roving financial opportunists, often of modest means, who spot investment opportunities and aim to benefit from a set of circumstances to which they are not ordinarily entitled. In recent years the best opportunities for carpetbaggers have come from opening membership accounts at building societies for as little as £100, to qualify for windfalls running into thousands of pounds from the process of conversion and takeover. The influx of such transitory 'token' members as carpetbaggers, took advantage of these nugatory deposit criteria, often to instigate or accelerate the trend towards wholesale demutualisation.

Investors in these mutuals would receive shares in the new public companies, usually distributed at a flat rate, thus equally benefiting small and large investors, and providing a broad incentive for members to vote for conversion-advocating leadership candidates. The word was first used in this context in early 1997 by the chief executive of the Woolwich Building Society, who announced the society's conversion with rules removing the most recent new savers' entitlement to potential windfalls and stated in a media interview, "I have no qualms about disenfranchising carpetbaggers."

Between 1997 and 2002, a group of pro-demutualization supporters "Members for Conversion" operated a website,, which highlighted the best ways of opening share accounts with UK building societies, and organized demutualization resolutions.[39] [40] This led many building societies to implement anti-carpetbagging policies, such as not accepting new deposits from customers who lived outside the normal operating area of the society.


The term carpetbagger has also been applied to those who join the Labour Party but lack roots in the working class that the party was formed to represent.[41]

World War II

During World War II, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services surreptitiously supplied necessary tools and material to anti-Nazi resistance groups in Europe. The OSS called this effort Operation Carpetbagger. The modified B-24 aircraft used for the night-time missions were referred to as "carpetbaggers". (Among other special features, they were painted a non-glossy black to make them less visible to searchlights.) Between January and September 1944, Operation Carpetbagger operated 1,860 sorties between RAF Harrington, England, and various points in occupied Europe.[42]


In Australia, the term "carpetbagger" refers to unscrupulous dealers and business managers in indigenous Australian art.[43][44][45][46]

The term "carpetbagger" was also used by John Fahey, a former Premier of New South Wales and federal Liberal finance minister, in the context of shoddy "tradespeople" who travelled to Queensland to take advantage of victims following the 2010–2011 Queensland floods.[47][48]

United States

In the United States, the common usage, usually derogatory, refers to politicians who move to different states, districts or areas to run for office despite their lack of local ties or familiarity. [49]

The awards season blog of The New York Times is titled "The Carpetbagger".[50] The blog covers the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and other red-carpet awards events.


A carpetbag steak or carpetbagger steak is an end cut of steak that is pocketed and stuffed with oysters, among other ingredients, such as mushrooms, blue cheese, and garlic. The steak is sutured with toothpicks or thread, and is sometimes wrapped in bacon.[51] The combination of beef and oysters is traditional. The earliest specific reference is in a United States newspaper in 1891. The earliest specific Australian reference is a printed recipe from between 1899 and 1907.[52]


  1. ^ Davidson, Gienapp, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff. Nation of Nations: A Concise Narrative of the American Republic, 3rd edition, New York: McGraw Hill, 2002
  2. ^ Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's unfinished Revolution 1863–1877 (1988) p 296
  3. ^ "Business: Your Money Is carpetbagging dead?". BBC. 22 January 1999. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  4. ^ Paul S. Boyer; Clifford E. Clark; Sandra Hawley; Joseph F. Kett; Andrew Rieser (5 January 2009). The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Volume 2: From 1865, Concise. Cengage Learning. pp. 362–. ISBN 0-547-22278-5.
  5. ^ Stephen L. Vaughn, ed., Encyclopedia of American Journalism (2007) pp 440-41.
  6. ^ Richard H. Abbott, For Free Press and Equal Rights: Republican Newspapers in the Reconstruction South (2004).
  7. ^ Willie Lee Rose, Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment (1976).
  8. ^ Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, The Scalawag in Alabama Politics. 1865–1881 (University of Alabama Press. 1991).
  9. ^ Richard Nelson Current, Those Terrible Carpetbaggers (Oxford University Press. 1988)
  10. ^ Godbey, William Baxter, "Autobiography of Rev. W. B. Godbey, A.M.", God's Revivalist Office. Cincinnati. 1909.
  11. ^ Williams, Heather Andrea, Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom, University of North Carolina Press,
  12. ^ Foner, 1988, pp. 137
  13. ^ Foner 1988 pp 294–295
  14. ^ Foner 1988 pp 289
  15. ^ Klein 1968 p. 269
  16. ^ Garner (1902); Harris (1979)
  17. ^ George C. Rable, But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1984, p.132
  18. ^ Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paperback, 2007, pp.80–87
  19. ^ Garner 187–88
  20. ^ Full text in Garner, pp. 399–400.
  21. ^ a b c Escott 160
  22. ^ a b Foner, 1988, pp. 387
  23. ^ Elliott, Mark, Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy V. Ferguson, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 119
  24. ^ Hill, Christopher, "Summary" of a Fool's Errand,
  25. ^ Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paperback, 2007
  26. ^ a b Simkins and Woody. (1932)
  27. ^ a b c Foner (1968)
  28. ^ "Badger, Algernon Sidney". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  29. ^ "George Luke Smith," Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  30. ^ Woolfolk (1966); Foner (1968) p 295
  31. ^ Earl F. Woodward, "The Brooks and Baxter War in Arkansas, 1872–1874," Arkansas Historical Quarterly (1971) 30#4 pp. 315-336 in JSTOR
  32. ^ Eric Foner Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction (1993) p. 79
  33. ^ Blake Wintory, "William Hines Furbush: An African American, Carpetbagger, Republican, Fusionist and Democrat." Arkansas Historical Quarterly 63 (Summer 2004): 107–165. in JSTOR
  34. ^ Blake J. Wintory, "African-American Legislators in the Arkansas General Assembly, 1868–1893." Arkansas Historical Quarterly (2006): 385-434. in JSTOR
  35. ^ a b c d "William Hines Furbush (1839–1902)" in The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture (2010)
  36. ^ a b Campbell (1994)
  37. ^ Jeffrey Hummel (2013). Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War. Open Court. p. 178. ISBN 9780812698442.
  38. ^ Matthews, Race (April 16, 2000). "Looting the Mutuals: The Ethics and Economics of Demutualisation. Background Paper for an Address on "Succession and Continuance of Mutuals"" (Mutuality 2000: Continuing and Emerging Examples Conference). Brisbane. Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  39. ^ Patrick Sherwen (December 4, 1999). "New king's decree favours 'democratic' way". The Guardian. London. Mr Yendall offered to take charge of an attack by on three building societies before the new rules came into effect and beat the deadline by a matter of hours.
  40. ^ The Guardian. London. July 21, 2001. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ Taylor, Andrew (1984). The Politics of the Yorkshire Miners. London: Croom Helm. p. 116. ISBN 0-7099-2447-X.
  42. ^ "Operation Carpetbagger". Night Flights Over Occupied Europe. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  43. ^ "Carpet-baggers 'exploiting' Indigenous artists". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). July 28, 2008. Archived from the original on January 9, 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  44. ^ Dow, Steve (April 27, 2009). "White ignorance about indigenous issues fails everyone". The Age. Melbourne.
  45. ^ "Four Corners ABC Interview - John Ioannou". Archived from the original on August 3, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  46. ^ "Gary Proctor, Warburton Arts Project". Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  47. ^ "Keep out flood carpetbaggers, says reconstruction inspectorate John Fahey". Herald Sun. Feb 8, 2011. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  48. ^ "Keep out flood carpetbaggers, says reconstruction inspectorate John Fahey". The Herald Sun. Melbourne. July 28, 2011.
  49. ^ Carpetbagger. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  50. ^ CARA BUCKLEY (March 1, 2016). "The Carpetbagger".
  51. ^ luckytrim. "Carpetbagger Steak Recipe from". Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  52. ^ "The Truth about Carpetbag Steak". The Old Foodie. 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2014-08-18.


  • Ash, Stephen V. When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861–1865 University of North Carolina Press, 1995.
  • Barnes, Kenneth C. Who Killed John Clayton. Duke University Press, 1998; violence in Arkansas.
  • Brown, Canter, Jr. "Carpetbagger Intrigues, Black Leadership, and a Southern Loyalist Triumph: Florida's Gubernatorial Election of 1872" Florida Historical Quarterly, 1994 72 (3): 275–301. ISSN 0015-4113. Shows how African Americans joined Redeemers to defeat corrupt carpetbagger running for reelection.
  • Bryant, Emma Spaulding. Emma Spaulding Bryant: Civil War Bride, Carpetbagger's Wife, Ardent Feminist; Letters and Diaries, 1860–1900 Fordham University Press, 2004. 503 pp.
  • Campbell, Randolph B. "Carpetbagger Rule in Reconstruction Texas: an Enduring Myth." Southwestern Historical Quarterly, 1994 97 (4): 587–596. ISSN 0038-478X
  • Current, Richard Nelson. Those Terrible Carpetbaggers: A Reinterpretation (1988), a favorable view.
  • Currie-Mcdaniel, Ruth. Carpetbagger of Conscience: A Biography of John Emory Bryant, Fordham University Press, 1999; religious reformer in South Carolina.
  • Davidson, Gienapp, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff. Nation of Nations: A Concise Narrative of the American Republic. 3rd. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002.
  • Durden, Robert Franklin; James Shepherd Pike: Republicanism and the American Negro, 1850–1882 Duke University Press, 1957
  • Paul D. Escott; Many Excellent People: Power and Privilege in North Carolina, 1850–1900, University of North Carolina Press, 1985.
  • Fleming, Walter L. Documentary History of Reconstruction: Political, Military, Social, Religious, Educational, and Industrial 2 vol 1906. Uses broad collection of primary sources.
  • Foner, Eric. Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory Of Black Officeholders During Reconstruction, Oxford University Press, 1993, Revised, 1996, LSU Press.
  • Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877 (1988). Harper & Row, 1988, recent standard history.
  • Fowler, Wilton B. "A Carpetbagger's Conversion to White Supremacy." North Carolina Historical Review, 1966 43 (3): 286–304. ISSN 0029-2494
  • Garner, James Wilford. Reconstruction in Mississippi (1902)
  • Harris, William C. The Day of the Carpetbagger: Republican Reconstruction in Mississippi Louisiana State University Press, 1979.
  • Harris, William C. "James Lynch: Black Leader in Southern Reconstruction," Historian 1971 34 (1): 40–61. ISSN 0018-2370; Lynch was Mississippi's first African American secretary of state.
  • Klein, Maury. "Southern Railroad Leaders, 1865–1893: Identities and Ideologies" Business History Review, 1968 42 (3): 288–310. ISSN 0007-6805 Fulltext in JSTOR.
  • Morrow, Ralph E.; Northern Methodism and Reconstruction Michigan State University Press, 1956.
  • Olsen, Otto H. Carpetbagger's Crusade: The Life of Albion Winegar Tourgee (1965)
  • Post, Louis F. "A 'Carpetbagger' in South Carolina," The Journal of Negro History Vol. 10, No. 1 (Jan. 1925), pp. 10–79 autobiography. in JSTOR
  • Simkins, Francis Butler, and Robert Hilliard Woody. South Carolina during Reconstruction (1932).
  • Tunnell, Ted. Edge of the Sword: The Ordeal of Carpetbagger Marshall H. Twitchell in the Civil War and Reconstruction. LSU Press, 2001, on Louisiana.
  • Tunnell, Ted. "Creating 'the Propaganda of History': Southern Editors and the Origins of Carpetbagger and Scalawag," Journal of Southern History, (Nov 2006) 72#4.
  • Twitchell, Marshall Harvey. Carpetbagger from Vermont: The Autobiography of Marshall Harvey Twitchell. ed by Ted Tunnell; Louisiana State University Press, 1989. 216 pp.
  • Wiggins, Sarah Woolfolk; The Scalawag in Alabama Politics, 1865–1881. University of Alabama Press, 1991
  • Wintory, Blake. "William Hines Furbush: African-American Carpetbagger, Republican, Fusionist, and Democrat," Arkansas Historical Quarterly, 2004 63 (2): 107–165. ISSN 0004-1823
  • Wintory, Blake. "William Hines Furbush (1839–1902)" Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (2006).
  • Woolfolk, Sarah Van V. "George E. Spencer: a Carpetbagger in Alabama," Alabama Review, 1966 19 (1): 41–52. ISSN 0002-4341

External links

36th Electronic Warfare Squadron

The 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit. Its is stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where it is assigned to the 53d Electronic Warfare Group

During World War II, as the 36th Bombardment Squadron the squadron conducted special operations and electronic warfare missions over Europe from 1943 until the end of the war.

492nd Special Operations Wing

The 492d Special Operations Wing is United States Air Forces unit stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida. It was activated in May 2017 to replace the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center.

During World War II the unit entered combat in May 1944, and sustained the heaviest losses of any other Consolidated B-24 Liberator group for a three-month period. The group was withdrawn from combat with its personnel and equipment being reassigned to other units. The 801st Bombardment Group (Provisional) was replaced by the 492d Bombardment Group, and the group performed special operations missions throughout the remainder of the war in Europe. It was inactivated on 17 October 1945.

In June 2017 official USAF descriptions said that the wing organized, trained and equipped forces to conduct special operations missions. It led Major Command irregular warfare activities and executes special operations test and evaluation programs. It also developed doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures for United States Air Force special operations forces.

859th Bombardment Squadron

The 859th Bombardment Squadron is a former United States Army Air Forces unit. it was first activated in October 1942 as the 517th Bombardment Squadron, when the Army Air Forces replaced National Guard observation units that had been mobilized and were performing antisubmarine patrols off the Atlantic coastline. A month after its activation, the squadron was redesignated the 12th Antisubmarine Squadron. In August 1943, the Army Air forces began turning the antisubmarine patrol mission over to the Navy and the squadron moved to California, where, as the 859th Bombardment Squadron, it formed the cadre for the 492d Bombardment Group.

After deploying to England, the 492d entered the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, but in three months of combat, suffered the most severe losses of an Eighth Air Force bomber group. The 492d Group was withdrawn from combat in August 1944, and the 859th moved on paper to replace the 788th Bombardment Squadron, which was engaged in Operation Carpetbagger, dropping agents and supplies behind German lines, primarily in France. As American forces advanced in France, this special operations mission diminished. The squadron moved to Italy, where it performed the same mission in the Balkans and Italy. The squadron was inactivated in Italy in October 1945.

Carpetbag steak

Carpetbag steak or carpetbagger steak is a traditional working class dish from Mumbles, a historic oyster fishing village in Swansea, South Wales, UK. Over the years it has become a luxury dish, popular in the 1950s and 1960s in Australia and New Zealand.It consists of an end cut of steak, such as scotch fillet. Pockets in the meat are made by small cuts, into which oysters are stuffed and sutured with toothpicks or thread. As the dish is broiled, the flavour of the fresh oysters permeates the steak and blends with the juice of the tender meat.

The combination of beef and oysters is traditional and formed part of the everyday diet of oyster fisherman in Swansea in the mid 1800s . The earliest specific reference in the United States was a newspaper in 1891, which may indicate a connection with carpetbaggers or to gluttony. The earliest specific Australian reference is a printed recipe from between 1899 and 1907. Another recipe from 1909 includes cayenne pepper as an ingredient, which may indicate an American origin. The more recent Australian versions typically use Worcestershire sauce, as does the local version of Oysters Kilpatrick.

It is sometimes served standing up like a miniature mountain. A strip of bacon may be wrapped around the serving and surrounded by peeled and browned baby potato halves. In one style, the steak is marinated in a sauce of thyme, pepper, tarragon, lemon, sugar and tamarind and served with a glass of dessert wine.

Carpetbagger (band)

Carpetbagger is an alt-country, Americana band based in Austin, Texas. The band was formed in spring of 2012. Carpetbagger consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Greg Loftus, lead guitarist Cody Brown, bassist John Tranum, and drummer Bryan McGrath.

Carpetbagger (disambiguation)

In U.S. history, carpetbagger was a derogatory term for Northerners who moved to the South after the Civil War.

Carpetbagger(s) or The Carpetbagger(s) may also refer to:

Operation Carpetbagger, a World War II operation to supply resistance fighters in Europe

The Carpetbaggers, a 1961 novel

The Carpetbaggers (film), a 1964 film based on the novel

Carpetbagger (band), an alt-country, Americana band

Florida Central Railroad (1868–1882)

The Florida Central Railroad was a railroad company that was originally established as the Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Central Railroad in 1851, and was renamed the Florida Central upon its purchase by carpetbagger George W. Swepson in 1868. It operated a 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge railroad line between Jacksonville, Florida, and Lake City, Florida. In 1870, it was consolidated into Swepson's Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad (JP&M), which ran from Lake City west to Quincy, Florida. In 1882, both the JP&M and the Central, as it was known, were purchased by Sir Edward Reed, and together became known as the Florida Central and Western Railroad, in 1900 becoming part of the Seaboard Air Line Railway system, a predecessor of CSX, which still operates the route. Between April 4, 1993 and August 28, 2005, the line was used by Amtrak's Sunset Limited train.

George Luke Smith

George Luke Smith (December 11, 1837 – July 9, 1884) was from 1873 to 1875 a U.S. Representative for Louisiana's 4th congressional district, which encompasses the state's third largest city, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Born in New Boston in Hillsborough County in southern New Hampshire, Smith completed preparatory studies and attended Union College in Schenectady, New York.

During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army. At the close of the war, he relocated to Shreveport to engage in mercantile pursuits. He served from 1870 to 1872 as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives during Reconstruction. He was the proprietor of Shreveport Southwestern Telegram and president of the Shreveport Savings Bank & Trust Company.

Smith was elected as a Republican to the Forty-third Congress to fill the vacancy created by the death of Representative-elect Samuel Peters and served from November 24, 1873, until March 3, 1875. Considered a Carpetbagger, Smith was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1874 to the Forty-fourth Congress and was succeeded by the Democrat William M. Levy.

Thereafter, Smith was appointed collector of customs at the port of New Orleans by U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, a position that he held from May 4, 1878, to February 20, 1879.

He moved to Hot Springs, Hot Springs, Arkansas, to engage in the real estate business until his death there.

He is interred at the West Street Cemetery in Milford, New Hampshire.

Smith was the last Republican to hold the 4th district House seat in Louisiana until 1988, when Jim McCrery won a special election for the position to succeed Buddy Roemer who was elected governor of Louisiana the preceding year.

George William Swepson

George William Swepson (June 23, 1819 – March 7, 1883) was a carpetbagger and a swindler notable for his involvement in the 1868 North Carolina railroad bonds scandal.

James L. Alcorn

James Lusk Alcorn (November 4, 1816 – December 19, 1894) was a Republican governor and a U.S. senator during the Reconstruction of his adopted state of Mississippi.

A moderate Republican, Alcorn engaged in a bitter rivalry with Radical Republican "carpetbagger" Adelbert Ames, who defeated him in the 1873 Mississippi gubernatorial race. He briefly served as a brigadier general of Mississippi state troops in Confederate Army service during the early part of the American Civil War. Among the Confederate generals who joined the post-Civil War Republican Party, only James Longstreet had been of higher rank than Alcorn.

Marshall H. Twitchell

Marshall Harvey Twitchell (February 29, 1840–August 21, 1905) was a Union Army soldier from Vermont who became a Republican state senator representing Red River Parish in northwestern Louisiana during the era of Reconstruction (carpetbagger).

Operation Carpetbagger

Operation Carpetbagger was a World War II operation to provide aerial supply of weapons and other matériel to resistance fighters in France, Italy and the Low Countries by the U.S. Army Air Forces that began on 4 January 1944.

Paul W. Cronin

Paul William Cronin (March 14, 1938 – April 5, 1997) was a one-term congressman of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts.

Cronin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 14, 1938 and graduated from Boston University in 1962 and the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1969. He was elected as an Andover, Massachusetts selectman at the age of 24, was later elected as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1967-1969. Before his election to Congress, he also served as a member of Rep. F. Bradford Morse's Congressional Staff, and as a delegate to Republican National Conventions in both 1968 and 1972.

In 1972, he was elected as a Republican to the Ninety-third Congress, defeating future US Senator and Presidential candidate John Kerry, who had moved to the Fifth District to seek the seat after Rep. Morse resigned to take a post at the United Nations. Cronin's victory was a huge upset against the anti-war candidate Kerry. He had trailed at one point by more than 20%, and his victory was often accredited to harsh attacks by The Lowell Sun, which attacked Kerry for being an elitist carpetbagger and for his questioning of the patriotism of those who supported the war.

In the House, Cronin served on the Interior Committee, and began a process that led ultimately to the creation, years later, of an urban park in Lowell. A businessman and non-ideologue at heart, Cronin placed himself in the moderate wing of his party.

In 1974, his first bid for re-election, Cronin faced an assertive challenge from a Lowell-based county commissioner Paul Tsongas, who seized on President Nixon's impeachment troubles in what turned out to be a bad year, electorally, for Republicans nationwide. Tsongas demanded that Cronin release his income tax returns, but the congressman declined; Cronin also declined to debate Tsongas. Tsongas also made political hay over the failure of a technology firm, Mostek, to locate a facility in Lowell after Cronin had promised the firm would do so. A memorable Tsongas radio ad featured echoing footsteps in an empty building. In the November election, Tsongas won 61% of the vote—and went on to become a US Senator from Massachusetts and a candidate for President of the United States in 1992.

Cronin later in life would serve a number of positions at Massachusetts Port Authority, and he unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for governor against William Weld. In 1992, Cronin won the Republican nomination to regain his old seat against a weak incumbent Chester G. Atkins. However, Atkins, who had been caught up in the House check-kiting scandal, would be defeated in the primary by an up-and-coming Democratic star, Martin T. Meehan, who in turn would defeat Cronin in the General Election 52% to 38%. Cronin died on April 5, 1997, from a brain tumor at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Andover.

RAF Harrington

Royal Air Force Station Harrington or more simply RAF Harrington is a former Royal Air Force station in England about 5.6 miles (9.0 km) west of Kettering in Northamptonshire south of the village of Harrington off the A14 road. During the early Cold War, it was a Thor missile site, designed to deliver atomic warheads to the Soviet Union. The nuclear missile site is now protected as a Grade II listed building as an example of Cold War architecture.

Ruth Currie-McDaniel

Ruth Currie-McDaniel, formerly Ruth Douglas Currie, is a professor and historian of Reconstruction Era history in the United States. She attended Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. She is professor emerita at Appalachian State University's history department and was a historian for the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command for four years. She retired as professor of history and political science at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. She has written books about John Emory Bryant, his wife Emma Spaulding Bryant, and American policy in the Pacific theater including Kwajalein Atoll and the Marshall Islands.

She married Kenneth B. Orr (now deceased) who served as president of Presbyterian College.


In United States history, scalawags (sometimes spelt scallawags or scallywags) were white Southerners who supported Reconstruction and the Republican Party, after the American Civil War.

Like the similar term carpetbagger, the word has a long history of use as a slur in Southern partisan debates. The opponents of the scalawags claimed they were disloyal to traditional values of white supremacy. The term is commonly used in historical studies as a neutral descriptor of Southern white Republicans, although some historians have discarded the term due to its history of pejorative connotations.

The Carpetbaggers

The Carpetbaggers is a 1961 bestselling novel by Harold Robbins, which was adapted into a 1964 film of the same title. The prequel Nevada Smith was also based on a character in the novel.

The term "carpetbagger" refers to an outsider relocating to exploit locals. It derives from postbellum South usage, where it referred specifically to opportunistic Northerners who flocked to pillage the occupied southern states. In Robbins' novel, the exploited territory is the movie industry, and the newcomer is a wealthy heir to an industrial fortune who, like Howard Hughes, simultaneously pursued aviation and moviemaking avocations.

Waving the bloody shirt

In the American election campaigns in the 19th century, "waving the bloody shirt" was a phrase used to ridicule opposing politicians who made emotional calls to avenge the blood of the northern soldiers that died in the Civil War. The pejorative was most used against Republicans, who were accused of using the memory of the Civil War to their political advantage. Democrats were not above using memories of the Civil War in such a manner as well, especially in the South.

The phrase gained popularity with a fictitious incident in which Representative and former Union general Benjamin Butler of Massachusetts, when making a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, allegedly held up a shirt stained with the blood of a carpetbagger whipped by the Ku Klux Klan during the Reconstruction Era. While Butler did give a speech condemning the Klan, he never waved anyone's bloody shirt.White Southerners mocked Butler, using the fiction of his having "waved the bloody shirt" to dismiss Klan thuggery and other atrocities committed against freed slaves and Republicans. The Red Shirts white supremacist paramilitary organization took their name from the term.

William L. McMillen

Dr. William Linn McMillen (October 18, 1829 – February 8, 1902) was an American surgeon, army officer, farmer and carpetbagger legislator.

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