Image from the Emancipation Proclamation America's reconstruction: Peoples and Politics After the Civil War
Emancipation Black Soldiers Rehearsal for Reconstruction A New Birth of Freedom: Reconstruction During the Civil War

"Forever Free,"

"Forever Free,"
Edmonia Lewis, marble, 1867.
(The Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)

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Sculpted to commemorate the ratification of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States, the idealized figures of "Forever Free" convey a message of triumph over adversity and hope for the future.

Mary Edmonia LewisArtist Mary Edmonia Lewis, the daughter of a Chippewa Indian mother and an African-American father, created the tableau while studying classical art in Rome; she originally entitled her work "The Morning of Liberty.

Learn more about Mary Edmonia Lewis

Copyright 2003
A New Birth of Freedom: Reconstruction During the Civil War The Meaning of Freedom: Black and White Responses to Slavery From Free Labor to Slave Labor Rights and Power: The Politics of Reconstruction Introduction The Ending of Reconstruction Epilogue: The Unfinished Revolution Additional Resources Credits for this Exhibit Digital History Home