Thomas Nast’s "Slavery is Dead(?)" appeared in the January 12, 1867, edition of Harper’s Weekly. Created five years after the Emancipation Proclamation, a year and two months after the ratification of the 13th Amendment and nine months after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the image depicts the failure of each to fully protect African Americans. Two images, one depicting an African American being sold into slavery as punishment for a crime and a second depicting an African American being whipped as a punishment for a crime, draw attention to the ability of state governments to work around those three legal acts.
Transcript of "Slavery is Dead(?)"
- Re-examine Nast’s "Emancipation" image created in 1865. How was it similar and different from this one created only two years later?
- According to the artist, did the Emancipation Proclamation, 13th Amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1866 fulfill their promise? Use evidence from the print to support your decision.
- Use evidence from the print to explain who the artist believed was responsible for the continued suffering of African Americans.
Nast, Thomas, "Slavery is dead(?)," 12 January 1867. Courtesy of Library of Congress