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Steamer ‘Sue’ arriving in Baltimore


The steamer "Sue" arriving at its home port of Baltimore, Maryland. Built in Wilmington, Delaware in 1867, the Sue traversed the waters between Baltimore and Virginia. In 1884, a lawsuit was filed against the steamer's owners, the Baltimore, Chesapeake and Richmond Steamboat Company, after a group of Black Baltimoreans purchased first-class tickets for the Sue and were denied accommodations in the first-class cabin based on their color. In 1885 the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. While separation by race and color was allowable under the "separate but equal" doctrine, Judge Thomas J. Morris found that the accommodations in this case were not comparable.





7 x 5 inches

Object ID



1 negative

Resource ID


Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.