Colored Senators and Representatives

"First Colored Senator and Representatives in the 41st and 42nd Congress of the United States." (Left to right) Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi, Representatives Benjamin Turner of Alabama, Robert DeLarge of South Carolina, Josiah Walls of Florida, Jefferson Long of Georgia, Joseph Rainey and Robert B. Elliot of South Carolina.

By Currier and Ives, 1872

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Reconstruction saw the election of an African American senator, Hiram Revels of Mississippi, and several members of the House from the South. After a brief period of Republican control in the South which saw major improvements in the lives of African Americans, Southern states instituted new laws aimed at intimidating black political activities.