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Charles Sumner

Charles Sumner
Artist
Edgar Parker, 1840 - 1892
Sitter
Charles Sumner, 6 Jan 1811 - 11 Mar 1874
Date
1874
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 137.2 x 86.4cm (54 x 34")
Frame: 156.2 x 104.1 x 10.2cm (61 1/2 x 41 x 4")
Topic
Printed Material\Document
Costume\Jewelry\Chain
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses\Pince-nez
Charles Sumner: Male
Charles Sumner: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
Charles Sumner: Politics and Government\Statesman
Charles Sumner: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Lecturer
Charles Sumner: Politics and Government\US Senator\Massachusetts
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.69.39
Exhibition Label
Born Boston, Massachusetts
Charles Sumner’s unswerving commitment to racial justice was the defining feature of his legislative career. First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1851, he was an outspoken opponent of slavery. During the Civil War, Sumner lobbied tirelessly for emancipation and advocated opening the Union army to Black enlistment.
Allied with the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction, Sumner focused single mindedly on securing full civil rights for African Americans. To this end, he introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1870. The measure was designed to ensure unfettered access, regardless of race, to “all the public conveyances” (including railroads and steamships), accommodations, theaters, public schools, churches, cemeteries, and jury service. Felled by a heart attack in 1874, it was Sumner’s dying wish that his civil rights bill achieve passage. When it was finally enacted in 1875, however, the key provision for public school integration had been stripped away by opponents.
Nacido en Boston, Massachusetts
La dedicación de Charles Sumner a la justicia racial definió su carrera legislativa. Elegido por primera vez para el Senado de EE.UU. en 1851, fue un franco opositor de la esclavitud. Durante la Guerra Civil abogó sin tregua por la emancipación y la admisión de los afroamericanos en el ejército de la Unión.
Aliado con los republicanos radicales durante la Reconstrucción, Sumner se entregó a la lucha por plenos derechos civiles para los afroamericanos. Presentó el proyecto de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1870 para asegurar el acceso libre, sin distinción de raza, a “todo transporte público” (incluidos ferrocarriles y vapores), alojamiento, teatros, escuelas públicas, iglesias, cementerios y participación en jurados. Víctima de un ataque cardíaco en 1874, su último deseo fue ver aprobado su proyecto de ley. Sin embargo, cuando la ley se promulgó por fin en 1875, la crucial cláusula de integración en las escuelas públicas había sido eliminada por sus opositores.
Provenance
(John Foster Ansley, Atlanta): purchase 1969 NPG.
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