David SyeFollow

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

41st Annual Indiana Association of Historians (Virtual) Conference / Beyond Boundaries Indiana Academies Symposium


University Libraries - Public Services


University Libraries


In 1865, near the end of the Civil War, the Indiana state legislature passed a school law that established a system of public schools, yet excluded black and other non-white children. Various attempts were made over the following years to amend this law and expand the school system to include black children. Governor Oliver Morton was a fierce proponent, but after he was elected the United States Senate to represent Indiana, this responsibility shifted to Lt. Governor Conrad Baker. While the general assembly struggled to pass a new law, communities across Indiana implemented their own solutions. In cities such as Indianapolis and Evansville, religious organizations such as the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church spearheaded efforts to educate African Americans. While the law was amended in 1869, African Americans still faced obstacles in obtaining equitable access to education in Indiana.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.