The AHA Council approved a letter to US Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, requesting a timely recommendation to the White House regarding a National Monument in Beaufort, South Carolina, in recognition of Reconstruction. The proposed monument would be the first in the National Park Service to expressly represent the history of emancipation and Reconstruction. The significant historical events that transpired at Beaufort make it an ideal place to tell this critical story of experimentation, potential transformation, accomplishment, and disappointment.
The story of Reconstruction after the Civil War is especially salient in an era when voting rights, the structure of citizenship, and the language of white supremacy, have reappeared as major aspects of public discourse. The AHA is grateful to members Kate Masur and Greg Downs, and to Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling for their hard work and persistence on behalf of this initiative.