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Those Terrible Carpetbaggers: A Reinterpretation

Woodrow Wilson described them as men bent on "an expedition of profit," who used "the negroes as tools for their own selfish ends." Horace Greeley, while running for President, denounced them as "fellows who crawled down South in the track of our armies, generally at a very safe distance in the rear." The South, in turn, hotly condemned them as "the larvae of the North," "vulturous adventurers," and "vile, oily, odious." Richard Nelson Current's eye-opening study challenges this prevailing image of the men from the North ...

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