Custom House Mill, July 6, 1869
African Americans, politics, race relations
This 1869 lithograph from the Richmond studio of lithographer Charles Ludwig illustrated one fear that white Virginians entertained after the Civil War, that unscrupulous politicians would use government jobs in the post office or federal customs houses to create powerful radical Republican political machines with the support of African American voters. Here, a slick politician is grinding out registered voters from a mill of the kind used to grind coffee beans. The date on this image, July 6, 1869, was the date on which Virginia voters ratified the new state constitution that granted the vote to black men.
Charles L. Ludwig
Library of Virginia, Prints and Photographs Division
Library of Virginia