The World Remade, 1866–1902

Mississippi and the Lost Cause

Theme and Time Period
In the aftermath of the Civil War, White Southerners rewrote history in an attempt to vindicate their violent rebellion against the United States. They developed and promoted an ideology known as the Lost Cause.

The First Black Legislators in Mississippi

Theme and Time Period
In 2022, more than fifty African Americans were serving in the Mississippi State Legislature, carrying on the legacy of the first Black men who served there in 1870. Mississippi’s first Black legislators were farmers and lawyers, barbers and blacksmiths, teachers and ministers. Some had always known freedom, while others were born into slavery. Some were highly educated elsewhere, and others had never been taught to read because the law in Mississippi forbade it. Many came to Mississippi to help build a more just government, and many were driven out by violence only a few years later.

Minnie Geddings Cox and the Indianola Affair, 1902-1904 Lesson Plan


In January 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt refused to accept the resignation of Minnie Geddings Cox, postmistress for the city of Indianola and Mississippi’s first African American postmistress. Roosevelt subsequently closed Indianola’s post office, and it remained closed for more than a year. The newspapers called the incident the “Indianola Affair.” Raised by business owner parents and educated at one of the premier schools for aspiring African American women, Cox sought opportunities beyond the traditional expectations for women of the time.