Thursday, May 24, 2018

Day of Jubilee in Honor of the Fifteenth Amendment

According to the May 25, 1870 issue of the Sandusky Register, a Day of Jubilee was held in honor of the ratification of the fifteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited federal and state governments from denying the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color or previous condition of servitude.”

The Great Western Band led a procession to the Erie County Fairgrounds, then located south of Scott Street in the area now known as Cable Park. There were delegations here from several neighboring communities. The first feature of the activities was a glee club of five African American ladies who sang the song “America.” Rev. Thomas Holland Boston (below) offered up a prayer.

Mrs. Handy from Fremont read messages from President U.S. Grant and Secretary of State Hamilton Fish which proclaimed the ratification of the 15th constitutional amendment. The next speakers were Mr. Moore, and Mr. W. J. Scott, who had been an enslaved individual at one time. Well known attorney F.D. Parish also addressed the group. Mr. Parish had been an active participant of the Underground Railroad of the Firelands.

The final speech at the Jubilee was given by Oran Follett.

In the evening, a ball was held at Fisher’s Hall. Although African Americans did not actually receive full voting equality in some states for several years, in 1870 there was great celebration in honor of the 15th constitutional amendment.

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