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Eastman Johnson

(American, 1824-1906)
The Freedom Ring, 1860

oil on wood, 18 1/4 x 22 1/4 inches

Today is Election. Tomorrow we shall hear the first boom of the verdict, though it will probably be several days before we shall be able to know with any certainty how it has gone. But I hope certainty is not to be long deferred. The worst that can happen I believe, is a disputed election. It seems to me that we have not had an election since Lincoln’s with so much at stake. But I cannot for the life of me believe that Garfield will not be elected, and I think by such a majority as to leave all uncertainty out of the question—I trust it may be such a one as to settle that Solid South business for all time—If it isn’t, it will have to come yet, for the battle has got to be fought over again with the ballot.

From a letter to painter Jervis McEntee dated December 2, 1880, from Archives of American Art, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of Artist's Letters. Printed in Eastman Johnson, Painting America by Teresa A. Carbone, published by Brooklyn Museum of Art in association with Rizzoli Internatinal Publications, 1999.
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Eastman Johnson, Portraiture, African American, Childhood, Culture, History, Storytelling, Realism, Painting, Oil, 1800s,

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