This broadside promotes a speech by the Republican candidate for vice president in 1896. African Americans were then overwhelmingly Republicans.
lthough prosperity did not return
until the twentieth century, there was progress in the decades after the Civil War.
Sewers were installed in the 1870s, the telephone arrived in 1881, and electricity in 1889.
Under a new state constitution, the public school system began in 1871 with segregated schools for white
and black students. As the century drew to a close, "Jim Crow" laws shaped the city, with African
American neighborhoods receiving few of the public services found in white areas of town. African
Americans developed their own parallel community-churches, banks, beauty parlors, sports teams,
fraternal organizations, and funeral homes.
Alexandria became an independent city in 1869 with a mayor and city council form of government,
ending its status as a county. A fire destroyed City Hall in 1871, but the irreplaceable collections
of the small community museum, cared for by the Washington Masonic Lodge, were saved.
Gradually, the city expanded west, reaching the base of Shuter's Hill before the end of the century.
Cigar, glass, and chemical factories joined flour mills and railroads as a source of employment, and
the wharves rotted even as the port continued to operate. In the 1890s the economy declined as
flour mills to the west and the growth of Baltimore as a major sugar port hurt the city's trade.
In 1898 the city demonstrated its re-integration into the nation as its men volunteered for the
Spanish American War.
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