Viciously satirical anti-African-American, anti-15th Amendment broadside, “Hedgehog’s Grand Combination of the Powers of Darkness.”. Unknown Author.

Viciously satirical anti-African-American, anti-15th Amendment broadside, “Hedgehog’s Grand Combination of the Powers of Darkness.”

Probably printed in Philadelphia: No publisher identified, May 5, 1870. Unbound. This striking handbill printed in a variety of fonts and measuring 6” x10” is in very nice condition. It reads, in part: "Hedgehog's grand combination of the powers of darkness, will exhibit at Jake Key's Roost, Thursday evening, May 5th, 1870. Programme . . . The whole to conclude with Hedgehog's celebrated feat of swallowing a live negro! During the performance of this celebrated troop, the Roost will be hermetically sealed so as to retain the delightful odor of the negroes. Front seats reserved for the colored ladies. No white folks admitted without special permission of Professor Hedgehog." Very good. Item #008832

After the 15th Amendment prohibiting t he denial of a citizen’s right to vote based upon “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” was ratified, widespread celebrations were held in black communities and by abolitionist societies. One of the largest, Philadelphia’s “Grand Celebration in Honor of the Ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment,” was held on May 5th, 1870 and featured over five hours of festivities, bands, speeches, and a parade that included the printing press that reproduced copies of the amendment for distribution to the crowd. It’s likely that this broadside was prepared as a satirical response to advertising for the official celebrations. Where or what “Jake Key’s Roost” refers to is unclear, but it may be a reference to a successful 18th century mutiny on the slave ship Hanover Succession out of Charleston, South Carolina, that was led by Jacob Key. Rather scarce. As of 2017, OCLC shows holdings at three institutions. No other examples are available for sale within the trade, and Rare Book Hub and ABPC list only five auction records.

Price: $650.00

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