In 1870, a meeting at the Second Baptist Church in Circleville led to a federal law allowing Congress to enforce constitutional amendments related to racial equality.
Nearly 150 African-American men met here after they were denied the right to vote in municipal elections, despite the ratification of the 15th amendment just months before the election.
The petitions produced at this meeting were sent to United States Senator John Sherman and Congressman John Bingham, who drafted legislation that met their requests.
The Enforcement Act of 1870 was signed into law by President Grant on May 31st. The act imposed criminal penalties for interference with the right to vote and built the framework for extending voting rights to all American citizens.