Curated by Cody Fuhrman & Maya Ruffner DeBus.
Come and visit this historical exhibit from now until the end of August at the Andres Pico Adobe. Pico was a person with partial African heritage, backed Abraham Lincoln, and the Union, keeping California a Union state despite many Confederate sympathizers in Southern California and helped raise troops for the Union effort to fight in the southwest. The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott opinion had held in 1856 that persons with African heritage could not become citizens of the United States, even though they could be citizens of their state. The Dred Scott opinion affected free persons of African heritage, including Andres and Pio Pico. That holding of Dred Scott would be erased by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and especially the first paragraph which declared that persons born or naturalized within the United States are citizens of the United States and the States wherein they reside. They were also definitely included as “we the people.”
Items on display include: An 1879 edition of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe, a slave shackle from the Middle Passage, a $20 Confederate bill circa 1861 and an original photograph of Ulysses S. Grant as newly appointed Commanding General from 1874. Also on display is the original commission document of Henry DeBus, Captain of the First Colored Cavalry, signed by Major General Benjamin Butler. Henry DeBus was the great-grandfather of Maya DeBus, SFVHS board member and Editor of this newsletter.