This Day in History

Jan. 4, 1874: Adelbert Ames Becomes Governor of Mississippi

Time Periods: 1865
Themes: Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship
Governor/Gen. Adelbert Ames

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

On Jan. 4, 1874 Adelbert Ames becomes the elected governor of Mississippi during the Reconstruction era.

Ames’s open support of African American suffrage helped him become a leader of Mississippi’s Republican Party, which appointed him senator in 1870 and nominated him for governor in 1874.

Ames’ advocacy of African American rights and his deployment of the militia to try to stem the Democrats’ campaign of violence drew the ire of the state’s Democratic Party, which attempted to impeach him in 1876.

He resigned that March.

Learn more in the Zinn Education Project national report, “Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle: How State Standards Fail to Teach the Truth About Reconstruction,” and find teaching resources on Reconstruction below.