First Black Legislators - U.S. Congress, 1872

First Black Legislators - U.S. Congress, 1872 American History African American History Civil Rights Law and Politics Education

This lithograph, created by Currier & Ives in 1872, is entitled
The First Colored Senator and Representatives, in the 41st and 42nd Congress of the United States.

Pictured are:

Senator Hiram R. Revels and Representatives Benjamin S. Turner, Josiah T. Walls, Joseph H. Rainey, Robert Brown Elliot, Robert D. De Large, and Jefferson H. Long.

The Library of Congress provides the following information about the picture and the time frame in which these men served their country in Washington:

The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave the vote to all male citizens regardless of color or previous condition of servitude. African Americans became involved in the political process not only as voters but also as governmental representatives at the local, state and national level. Although their elections were often contested by whites, and members of the legislative bodies were usually reluctant to receive them, many African American men ably served their country during Reconstruction.

Media Credits

Image, Library of Congress.

Quoted passage from the Library of Congress' web site - African-American Odyssey.


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"First Black Legislators - U.S. Congress, 1872" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 28, 2020.
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