Plessy v. Ferguson
(This page was developed by a Berea College student as part of a course on Chesnutt)
An Act of Louisiana, July 10, 1890:
Homer Adolph Plessy, a man of mixed-blood (7/8 Caucasian
and 1/8 African), bought a ticket for the first class seats in New Orleans
on the East Louisiana Railway. He took a seat in the Whites-Only coach
since no one knew any different. The condutor told Plessy to take his
place in the Colored-Only coach after being informed of his heritage.
Plessy refused and was imprisoned for violating the July 10th Act of Louisiana.
Justice John Marshal Harlan was the one man to disagree.
In anger he wrote: " ...in the eyes of the law, there is in this country
no superior, dominant ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here.
Our constitution is color blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes
among its citizens."
Reference: All information on this page was found in the book: Civil Rights Decisions of the United States Supreme Court: The 19th Century.
Editors: Maureen Harrison & Steve Gilbert