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A Short Catechism on Negro Equality, Broadside, 1830s

Context

This broadside is a criticism of actions of the Democratic Party in the 1830s. The author lists off pro-black policies and actions, including a Democratic Vice President having a spouse of partial African ancestry, in an attempt to discredit the political party. This is an example of an early political attack ad.

Martin Van Buren, the president mentioned in the broadside, was a running mate of and ideological successor to Andrew Jackson. With his Jacksonian mindset, Van Buren promised to support limited government and to leave the issue of slavery alone, positions the allegations in the broadside seem to challenge.

Definition: Broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements.

Citation: A Short Catechism on Negro Equality. Library of Virginia Manuscripts & Special Collections Broadside Collection 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA

Standards

Social Studies: VUS.6
Art: 4.1, 5.1, 4.18, 4.19, 5.18, 5.19

Suggested Questions

Analyze: Why do you think the author wrote this broadside? What do they hope to accomplish?

Analyze: Is this broadside biased? Why or why not?

Artistic Exploration: Create your own broadside for an issue you feel strongly about.

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