After the Civil War, formerly enslaved people were allowed to vote and run for office. Washington, Arkansas had two formerly enslaved people represent the community in the Arkansas General Assembly. “Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893” tells the story of the eighty-six African Americans who served in the Arkansas General Assembly in the 19th century. After the Civil War, Arkansas adopted a new constitution in 1868 and its provisions included the right to vote and hold public office for black males. African American lawyers, merchants, ministers, educators, farmers, and other professionals served in the Arkansas General Assembly. Photographs of forty-six of the eighty-six legislators are an integral part of the display. Also featured is a complete listing of the legislators and a short history of post-Civil War and election law “reforms”. The exhibit is a traveling exhibit produced by the Arkansas State Archives and Black History Commission of Arkansas.
Meeting Place: 1874 Courthouse Visitor Center