Autographs of the first African American to serve a full term in the United States Senate, Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi, and of two African American congressmen, Richard Cain and Robert Smalls, both of South Carolina, with autographs of other members of the 45th Congress of the United States as well as of contemporary Americans notable in other fields, collected in 1878 in a period album.

Oblong 8vo. 112 leaves bearing 116 autographs, some inscribed with a sentiment, all save four on a recto; included are 32 senators and 75 representatives from the 45th Congress, among them the three African-American members, former Confederate general Matt Ransom, former Union generals Ben Butler, Ambrose Burnside, Phil Sheridan, and Nathaniel Banks, and former U.S. Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin. Original gilt-stamped leather (rubbed, spine ends chipped), with a Washington, D.C., bookseller's ticket ("Milans & Wilkins") on the front pastedown. Still a good solid album and most autographs quite legible.
Blanche K. Bruce (1841-1898), born a slave in Prince Edward County, Virginia, became a planter in Mississippi following the Civil War and served in a number of local offices before his election to the United States Senate in 1874; after serving his full term, 1875-1881, he was appointed to a succession of federal offices in Washington, D.C., among them register of the treasury and recorder of deeds for the district.
Richard Cain (1825-1887), born a slave in Greenbrier County, Virginia, moved with his father to Ohio in 1831 and attended school there. Following the Civil War, he moved to South Carolina where he served in local offices and edited a newspaper. Cain was twice elected to Congress, serving 1873-1875 and 1877-1879. Appointed a bishop of the African Methodist Church in 1880, he served in Washington, D.C., until his death.
Robert Smalls (1839-1915), born a slave in Beaufort, South Carolina, served as a pilot for the U.S. Navy during the Civil War and served in various local offices after the war, before being elected repeatedly to Congress, serving 1875-1879, 1882-1883, and 1884-1887. He was collector for the port of Beaufort, 1897-1913. (1380). Item #54402

Price: $2,500.00

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