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PHOTO ESSAY

Frederick Douglass

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"The Signing of the Fifteenth Amendment" (1870)

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

This print by C. Rogan is entitled "The Fifteenth Amendment, Signed by President U. S. Grant, March 1870." The central panel shows Frederick Douglass seated at a fictional gathering meant to symbolize Republican support for black rights. The artist's liberties can be seen in the fact that Abraham Lincoln is shown seated to the immediate right of Grant, although Lincoln had died five years earlier. The figures are (seated, left to right) Edwin W. Standon, Schuyler Colfax, Abraham Lincoln, U. S. Grant, William H. Seward, Frederick Douglass; (standing, left to right) Horace Greeley, Salmon P. Chase, Robert Smalls, Charles Sumner, Hiram R. Revels, Benjamin Franklin Butler, and William Tecumseh Sherman. The portrait on the wall is of John Brown, with whom Douglass had conspired prior to Brown's failed raid on Harper's Ferry, VA, in 1859.

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