A Political Discussion

November 20, 1869, page 737

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In the subjoined illustration our artist represents a characteristic group of freedmen in the streets of Richmond, engaged in the discussion of the political situation. It is by no means an unfamiliar scene. The colored men, knowing how intimately connected their race has been with the political conflicts of the last twenty years, with the origin of the rebellion, and with the problem of "reconstruction," naturally take a great interest in politics; and in some of the Southern States they hold the balance of power.

It will be seen, by a reference to our picture, that there is a difference of opinion. The wood-sawyer, on the left, is doubtless a Conservative; his opponent, the white-washer, is a Republican; while the negro seated on the right is a silent auditor, ready to acquiesce in whichever opinion gains the mastery. The earnestness of the argument is shown in the countenances and in the attitude of the disputants and of their listener.  The picture, considered simply as a work of art, has merits of a very high order. The action is natural, and each member of the group is given a distinct individuality. The treatment of the subject is not less happy than its selection. 

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