Ever since William Watson Davis, member of the so-called Dunning school of post Civil War historiography, popularized Florida’s Reconstruction as a period of dark, corrupt, rapacious rule, the image of the personalities and the events from 1865 to 1876, has remained tarnished. Revisionism, which overturned Davis's view by suggesting that Republican "rule" was tenuous at best and that corruption in politics was a sin of both parties, has only partially rehabilitated the traditional "tragic era." One incident still offered as "proof" for the traditional view of Negro and Republican rascality in Reconstruction is the story of Joe Oats and his "election to [National Negro] Congress" in 1866.
Klingman, Peter D.
"Rascal or Representative?: Joe Oats of Tallahassee and the "Election" of 1866,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 51
, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol51/iss1/6