Some free northern blacks were already participating in politics.
Many worked with white elected officials to abolish slavery. What they learned enabled them to help other African Americans understand how the U.S. government operated.
Many of these northern blacks moved to the South after the Civil War, so that they could work where the majority of the population was black. Because President Lincoln, who had freed the slaves, was a Republican, most African Americans were major supporters of the Republican Party.
During Reconstruction, fourteen African Americans were elected to the House of Representatives id two served in the Senate.