The First South Carolina Legislature

This image shows 63 members of South Carolina’s 1868 state legislature, the first state legislature with a Black majority.
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Laws passed during Reconstruction, especially the fourteenth and fifteenth Amendments, significantly expanded the scope of American citizenship and extended political rights to millions of Black Americans. In 1868, South Carolina had the first state legislature with a Black majority. This image of 63 of the legislature’s members was distributed throughout South Carolina by opponents of Radical Reconstruction. 1

This is a photo montage created in 1876 depicting the first South Carolina legislature after the 1867 Reconstruction acts.

Photo Montage (1876), Library of Congress

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