One of two splendid, large allegorical prints commemorating the ordinance providing for the immediate emancipation of slaves in Missouri. (See also no. 1865-1.) The ordinance was passed on January 11, 1865, three weeks before the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was proposed by Congress.
Female personifications of Liberty (left), Justice (below), and Missouri (right) are set in the niches of an ornate architectural framework. Liberty wears a blue cape and liberty cap, holds a sprig of oak leaves, and is accompanied by an eagle. Missouri, in a red cape, raises a palm branch in her right hand and with her left grasps a yoke that she breaks under her foot. Justice is seated, blindfolded, and holds a sword and scales. She is flanked by two putti, one white and one black, each holding a document. The white child's document is labeled "Natural Philosophy" and the black child's "Rights of Man."
On the left is a small vignette of a rural scene with a man, woman, cow, goat, vineyard, and wheatfield. On the right is the state capitol building at Jefferson. In the topmost register are the Missouri state arms and other emblematic devices.
The printed legend continues: "Be it ordained by the people of the State of Missouri in Convention assembled That hereafter in this State there shall be neither slavery not involuntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, and all persons held to service or labor as slaves are hereby DECLARED FREE," followed by signatures of the delegates.