White League

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WHITE LEAGUE. The White League, organized in Louisiana in 1874, was a broad-based paramilitary movement consisting of autonomous local "clubs" committed to white supremacy. It first appeared at Opelousas in April and then spread rapidly throughout the state. White Leagues held large rallies, disrupted court sessions, and threatened to assassinate Republican officeholders in order to coerce them to resign from office and to drive both black laborers and Republicans from their homes. On 30 August leaguers were involved with the murder of six Republican officials from Red River Parish, and on 14 September the Crescent City White League successfully battled the Metropolitan Police and occupied the city hall, statehouse, and arsenal in New Orleans. They withdrew the next day, when federal troops arrived in the city. The league disappeared after having attained its objective with the election of a Democrat as governor in 1876.


Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863– 1877. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

Rable, George C. But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984.

Taylor, Joe Gray. Louisiana: A History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976.

John S.Kendall/c. p.

See alsoLouisiana ; New Orleans Riots ; Reconstruction ; Vigilantes .