Monday, December 17, 2012

Fifteenth Amendment

This image commemorates the signing of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which allowed all male citizens of age to vote. President Grant is shown signing the amendment and seated around him in the front row is Edwin M. Stanton (Secretary of War), Schuyler Colfax (Vice President), Abraham Lincoln (interesting that he is included as he had been dead for five years), Grant, William H. Seward (Secretary of State), and Frederick Douglass.  In the rear row is Horace Greeley (newspaper editor), Salmon Chase (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), Robert Smalls (later congressman from South Carolina), Charles Sumner Massachusetts Senator), Hiram Revels (Mississippi Senator), Benjamin F. Butler (Massachusetts Congressman), and William T. Sherman (Commanding General of the U.S. Army). Above the men is a portrait of John Brown.

In the top left is a vignette of a court room that it labeled "Justice for All," and shows the importance of African Americans being allowed to provide testimony in court and to initiate suits.

Opposite is an image of African Americans in line to cast their votes that is titled "A Freeman's Right."

Below this image is a soldier to represent African American service to the "Army," and to the left is a sailor to show the "Navy."

The bottom row of images from left to right depict the Battle of Port Hudson, Louisiana, a farm scene titled "Peace," an education scene "School," and finally another battle scene at "Petersburg," Virginia.

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

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