Pardon. Franchise.
Original Author: Thomas Nast, artist
Created: August 5, 1865
Medium: Wood engravings

Pardon. Franchise.

These wood engravings, from illustrations by Thomas Nast, were published in the August 5, 1865, edition of Harper's Weekly. At left, the symbol of American liberty, Columbia, contemplates the wisdom of granting former Confederate generals and politicians a pardon. At right, an African American man who lost a limb fighting for the Union is not permitted to vote. "Shall I trust these men," Columbia asks of the former Confederates and "not this man?" who suffered for the Union. The stripes of the tattered American flag behind the black soldier bear the words "Fort Pillow," a battle that resulted in a massacre of African American soldiers by Confederates, and "Fort Wagner," a battle in which African American soldiers led an assault and suffered heavy casualties.