Sept. 5, 1864
Louisiana became the first state to incorporate President Abraham Lincoln’s conciliatory approach and was the leading test case for postwar policy when pro-Union voters ratified Louisiana’s new state Constitution, which abolished slavery and authorized the Legislature to extend voting rights to Black men and have free public schools for all children.
The Legislature, however, had other ideas, failing to extend voting rights. As for free public schools, they were for whites only. That Constitution only applied to the 13 parishes under Union control during the Civil War.