MEDIA
Practical Illustration of the Virginia Constitution
Original Author: Opponents of the constitution
Created: ca. 1868–1869
Medium: Engraved broadside

Practical Illustration of the Virginia Constitution, (So Called.)

Engravings on a political broadside titled Practical Illustration of the Virginia Constitution, (So Called) depict two scenes: an African American teacher spanking a white pupil, and a veiled white woman being questioned by an African American lawyer in front of a jury of both blacks and whites. A new constitution drawn up at the Constitutional Convention of 1867–1868 provided suffrage for African American men as well as a statewide system of free public schools for all children. In an attempt to convince white voters that they should vote against ratification of the constitution, opponents spread racial fear with illustrations such as these. The constitution passed.

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