• B. Sullivan

Only in Orange!

Of the two settings of the Charters of Freedom in Virginia, only Orange will have the addition of the major Civil Rights amendments and the Snyder Act of 1924 included. These Amendments to the Constitution promoted legal recognition and equality of the disenfranchised and guaranteed all peoples equal rights and protection under our Constitution.

13th Amendment

Ratified on December 6, 1865:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

14th Amendment

Ratified on July 28, 1868:

Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. There is some debate as to the full ratification of this Amendment, but it IS in the Congressional records as being ratified.

15th Amendment. Ratified on February 3, 1870:

Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude–. This Amendment while short, is very important - I will provide the example further below.

19th Amendment. Ratified on August 18, 1920:

Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

24th Amendment. Ratified on January 23, 1964:

Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.


All of the above amendments laid the groundwork for the achievements of civil rights in America. However, there was one group of people who were not included in the 13th - 15th and 19th amendments - Native Americans. It was not until 1924 that Native Americans were recognized as citizens of the United States of America.


The Snyder Act, also referred to as the "Indian Citizenship Act" was enacted through the 15th Amendment on June 7, 1924. This Act granted citizenship to all American Indians. Up until that point citizenship had been granted piecemeal in situations like entering the armed forces or renouncing tribal affiliation.


The act did not include those born before 1924. They were not granted citizenship until the Nationality Act of 1940 which granted citizenship to all born on U.S. soil. Despite the act, even those Native Americans who were granted citizenship may not have had the full rights of citizenship and suffrage until 1948. Importantly, the act allowed for dual citizenship with U.S. and the Tribe. Without the 15th Amendment, this Act would not have been successful.


The Snyder Act plaque will be included in the Charters of Freedom setting.