The Fifteenth Amendment Celebrated May 19th, 1870

The Fifteenth Amendment Celebrated May 19th, 1870

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This commemorative print celebrates the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. The central panel depicts the parade in Baltimore on May 19, 1870, the largest celebration honoring the amendment's passage. The parade lasted more than five hours, was over a mile in length, and had more than 20,000 spectators. Note the Baltimore Washington Monument in the background, the troop of Zouave drummers, and the African American men wearing Masonic sashes. The central image is surrounded by sixteen small vignettes containing portraits of individuals and events that were influential in securing voting rights for all American males regardless of race. These include four white men: Abraham Lincoln, in upper left President Ulysses S. Grant, a bust of abolitionist John Brown, abolitionist, orator, and Grant’s Vice President Schuyler S. Colfax. The African American leaders in the center are D.C. US Marshall Frederick Douglas, Mississippi Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels depicted sitting in Congress, and Martin Robison Delany, author and 1st African American major in US Army. The surrounding scenes optimistically depict the of expected benefits of the amendment such as a African American wedding ceremony presuming freedom to marry without impediment, a African American man voting, scenes depicting African Americans at worship and in school, and an image of former slaves tilling their own fields.
The brightly colored chromolithograph was crated by James Carter Beard and issued by the Irish immigrant Thomas Kelly. It was published in New York. Two sizes of this print were produced; this is the larger version.
For more detailed information about the vignettes in this print see:
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
date of depicted image
Delany, Martin Robinson
Lincoln, Abraham
Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson)
Douglass, Frederick
Brown, John
Colfax, Schuyler
Revels, Hiram Rhodes
Kelly, Thomas
Beard, James Carter
place made
United States: New York, New York City
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 18 5/8 in x 25 1/2 in; 47.3075 cm x 64.77 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Patriotism and Patriotic Symbols
Uniforms, Military
Reform Movements
African American
Uniforms, fraternal
U.S. National Government, executive branch
U.S. National Government, judiciary
U.S. National Government, legislative branch
Chronology: 1870-1879
Holidays and Celebrations, general
United States Constitution, Fifteenth Amendment
Civil War
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
American Civil War Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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