African American Suffrage and the 15th Amendment
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude"
- 15th Amendment, Constitution of United States of America -
“The Fifteenth Amendment and its Results.” Drawn by G.F. Kahl. Baltimore: Lithograph by E. Sachse & Co., circa 1870.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
"The first vote." Drawn by A.R. Waud. Harper's Weekly, 16 November 1867.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
The archival resources in this exhibition contain offensive and outdated language. We chose not to censor these items in order to accurately represent the bias and prejudice of the time. We strongly condemn the use of such language and ask exhibition visitors to engage with this material carefully and critically. Explicit warnings have been provided for those items with the most offensive language.
Prior to the Amendment
States were slow to ensure that the rights of the newly freed African Americans. Abolitionists did not rest after the passage of the 13th amendment, but continued to work to ensure voting rights for African Americans.