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Hiram Revels

In 1870, the Boston firm of Louis Prang and Company published a chromolithograph (an inexpensive type of color print) portrait of the first African-American United States senator. One prominent admirer of the portrait was Frederick Douglass: “Whatever may be the prejudices of those who may look upon it,” he wrote to Prang, “they will be compelled to admit that the Mississippi senator is a man, and one who will easily pass for a man among men. We colored men so often see ourselves described and painted as monkeys, that we think it a great piece of good fortune to find an exception to this general rule.”

Source: L. Prang and Company (after a painting by Theodore Kaufmann), 1870, chromolithograph, 14 x 11 3/4 inches—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.