Exhibit Menu

“Redemption” Propaganda at the Polls

This certificate given to “colored men who voted the Democratic ticket” in 1876 included an image of Wade Hampton and promoted “home rule”, the “Redemption of South Carolina” and the “Honest Man’s Party”. Marginalia indicates the certificate was presented by “Honorable” James Aldrich. Aldrich was the attorney who defended the White perpetrators of the Hamburg Massacre. Presenting African American men exercising their suffrage rights with a certificate at the polls was a thinly veiled tactic to instill fear and undercut civil liberties at the sunset of the federally defined Reconstruction era.

Courtesy of the South Carolina Historical Society