Streetcar Integration during Reconstruction

Tour curated by: Kevin J. Brown

Streetcar integration during Reconstruction occurred because of acts of protest like Joseph Guillaume's.

Locations for Tour

Joseph Guillaume had had enough. The Civil War was over, Reconstruction was in full swing, yet still the practice of segregation on the streetcars of New Orleans continued. Every third streetcar—although it was sometimes less often—was supposed…

No doubt Guillaume had heard of Dr. R. I. Cromwell, who had forcibly been thrown from a non-star car by five or six men who kicked him and tore his clothes. Cromwell noted the inequity of the star system, writing that “every seventh car is a star…

On May 4, 1867, Guillaume acted. What happened next is open to some debate. According to the New Orleans Times, at 11:30 a.m. Guillaume hailed a “Whites Only” car number 148 on Love Street, now known as Rampart. When the driver refused to stop,…

Negroes in City Cars. "The Daily Picayune," November 9, 1864, p 2. Town Talk. "The New Orleans Times," September 29, 1865, p 2. The Star Car Nuisance. "The New Orleans Tribune." June 25, 1865, p 2. The Car Question.…