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Octavius Catto

Octavius Catto
Broadbent and Phillips, active c. 1857 - 1881
Samuel Broadbent, Jr., 1810 - 1880/1
Henry C. Phillips, active 1854 - 1881
Octavius Catto, 1839 - 10 Oct 1871
c. 1871
Albumen silver print
Image/Sheet: 8.8 × 5.8 cm (3 7/16 × 2 5/16")
Mount: 10.2 × 6.2 cm (4 × 2 7/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Charleston, South Carolina
Octavius V. Catto gave his life in the struggle to secure civil rights for African Americans. Educated at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, where he later served on the faculty, Catto was a founding member of several major civic institutions, including the Philadelphia chapter of Pennsylvania's Equal Rights League. During the Civil War, he worked with Frederick Douglass to recruit African Americans into the Union army. A vigorous advocate for the civil rights amendments of the Reconstruction Era, Catto was shot to death by a Democratic Party operative on October 10, 1871, the same day that African Americans were voting in the first Philadelphia election held after ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection