Dunn, Oscar James

Dunn, Oscar James,

c.1825–71, African-American politician, lieutenant governor of Louisiana (1868–71), b. New Orleans. A former slave, he fought for the Union and joined the Republican party (1863). Active in politics and social welfare societies during ReconstructionReconstruction,
1865–77, in U.S. history, the period of readjustment following the Civil War. At the end of the Civil War, the defeated South was a ruined land. The physical destruction wrought by the invading Union forces was enormous, and the old social and economic
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, Dunn worked with the Universal Suffrage Association and the Freedmen's BureauFreedmen's Bureau,
in U.S. history, a federal agency, formed to aid and protect the newly freed blacks in the South after the Civil War. Established by an act of Mar. 3, 1865, under the name "bureau of refugees, freedmen, and abandoned lands," it was to function for one year
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 and was appointed to the New Orleans city council (1867). In 1868 Dunn was elected lieutenant governor, becoming the first black lieutenant governor in the United States, serving until his death.
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