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Whereas the white teachers did not bother with the Negroes except in the classroom, other white men came who showed a decided interest in them. They were called “carpetbaggers” because of the type of traveling bag which they usually carried, and this term later became synonymous with “political adventurer.” These men sought to advance their political schemes by getting the Negroes to vote for certain men who would be favorable to them. They bought the Negro votes or put a Negro in some unimportant office to obtain the goodwill of the ex-slaves. They used the ignorant colored minister to further their plans, and he was their willing tool. The Negro’s unwise use of his ballot plunged the South further and further into debt and as a result the South was compelled to restrict his privileges.

http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/docs/s/slave/slave31.htm

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