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Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(RECONSTRUCTION.) [Wellstood, William, engraver]. Engraved portrait of African-American members of Reconstruction Congresses. Engraving, 9 x 5 3/4 inches; minor toning, small adhesive remnant in left margin. [New York], circa early 1880s
Portraits of five important African-American legislators from the Reconstruction era. Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina was the first African-American representative in Congress, and James T. Rapier was one of the first from Alabama. The other three were Mississippians: Hiram R. Revels was the state's first African-American senator; Blanch K. Bruce was their first to serve a full term; and John R. Lynch was their first United States Representative. At least one other copy has a Wellstood imprint in the lower margin, though most do not; it is unclear whether this one was cropped or just issued on smaller paper. Wellstood & Co. first appears in the New York directories in 1879, though the family had been engravers there for many years previous, and we would guess this print was probably produced before the death of Revels in 1883.
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