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Charles Sumner Mortuary Token, 1874

Charles Sumner Mortuary Token, 1874

This bronze token was created as a memorial to Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, an advocate of a bill to prohibit racial discrimination in public accommodations. The bill—the Civil Rights Act of 1875—became law the year following his death. On his deathbed, Sumner pleaded with a friend “you must take care of the Civil Rights Bill, my bill,” hence the token’s inscription.

The Massachusetts Historical Society