Mathew Brady / Library of Congress

Blanche Bruce

A portrait of Senator Blanche Bruce of Mississippi, who was the first African-American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. He served from 1875-1881. Bruce was born into slavery in Virginia in 1841, the son of a white plantation owner and a black slave.

The photo was taken sometime between 1865 and 1880. It's from the Brady-Handy collection in the U.S. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. (Call number: LC-BH832-30088)