Many blacks were now elected to office . Mississippians Blanche Bruce and Hiram Revels became U.S. senators. Revels took the old Senate seat of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis. The day he was sworn in, the Senate galleries were packed, and everyone stood as he walked down the aisle. Some observers burst into cheers. A Philadelphia newspaper wrote this on its editorial page: "Never since the birth of the republic has such an audience been assembled under one single roof. It embraced the greatest and the least American citizens."
It was difficult for Southern whites to accept what was happening. The Republican Party was ruling the entire South based on carpetbaggers, blacks, and scallawagswhich is what Southern whites who defected to the Republican Party were being called. But worst of all was the fact that blacks were in power. Black people in Congress ! Black people in the state legislatures! Some whites really believed the racist myths. They believed blacks couldn't think as well as whites!