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The Shackle Broken by the Genius of Freedom

The Shackle Broken by the Genius of Freedom
Artist
Edward Sachse & Co., active 1851 - 1874?
Sitter
Robert Brown Elliott, 11 Aug 1842 - 9 Aug 1884
Date
1874
Type
Print
Medium
Hand-colored lithograph on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 56.2 x 70.8cm (22 1/8 x 27 7/8")
Mat: 71.1 x 81.3cm (28 x 32")
Topic
Robert Brown Elliott: Male
Robert Brown Elliott: Politics and Government\Congressman
Robert Brown Elliott: Politics and Government\State Legislator\South Carolina
Robert Brown Elliott: Politics and Government\Politician
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.2008.30
Exhibition Label
Born Liverpool, England
An eloquent champion for universal civil rights, Robert Brown Elliott was one of the first African Americans elected to represent South Carolina in the United States House of Representatives (1871–73; 1873–75). On January 6, 1874, Elliott delivered a stirring defense of Senator Charles Sumner’s Civil Rights Bill in the face of opposition from Georgia Congressman Alexander Stephens, the Confederacy’s former vice-president.
Elliott’s “great speech” is memorialized in the central vignette of this lithograph as well as in the quotes from the address that appear throughout the print. Companion images of Abraham Lincoln, flourishing the Emancipation Proclamation, and Senator Sumner, holding a copy of his Civil Rights Bill, provide context for Elliott’s speech, as do scenes representing Black soldiers’ valiant service during the Civil War. Weakened by the time it became law, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1883.
Nacido en Liverpool, Inglaterra
Defensor elocuente de los derechos civiles universales, Robert Brown Elliott fue uno de los primeros afroamericanos elegidos por Carolina del Sur para la Cámara de Representantes de EE.UU. (1871–73; 1873–75). El 6 de enero de 1874 defendió con emoción la propuesta del senador Charles Sumner para la Ley de Derechos Civiles frente a la oposición del congresista de Georgia, Alexander Stephens, antiguo vicepresidente de la Confederación.
La viñeta central y las citas que aparecen por toda esta litografía conmemoran el “gran discurso” de Elliott. Las imágenes laterales de Abraham Lincoln sosteniendo la Proclamación de Emancipación y el senador Sumner con su propuesta para la Ley de Derechos Civiles, dan contexto al discurso de Elliott, al igual que las escenas del valiente servicio prestado por los soldados negros en la Guerra Civil. Disminuida ya para cuando se promulgó, la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1875 fue declarada inconstitucional por el Tribunal Supremo en 1883.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 123
Exhibition
Reconstruction Gallery
On View
NPG, East Gallery 123