Scenes in Memphis

Creator: Alfred R. Waud

Context: These images illustrate the race riots that occurred in Memphis in 1866, where a white majority murdered 46 blacks (most of the former Union soldiers), raped five women, and burned 12 churches and four schools.

Audience: Harper's Weekly was a popular magazine that reached a large audience of middle-class and wealthy Americans.

Purpose: To describe and dramatize the events of the riot.

Historical Significance: Magazines such as this one reported the continued existence of racial conflicts to Americans across the nation, arousing sympathy for the plight of freed slaves that influenced the early policies of Reconstruction.