Scene on holder of black man and a woman, holding hands and dancing, tan background. The woman wears a red dress, black belt and black shoes. The man wears blue pants, yellow shirt, black belt and black shoes. The stitched in maroon yarn reads: Any holder/but/a/Slave Holder.
In 1863 and 1865 the Chicago branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission sponsored fund-raising fairs for soldiers and their families. Chiefly organized by volunteer women and held in large exposition halls, the fairs sold a variety of donated goods and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical supplies and equipment. The freed slave potholders are from the 1865 fair; they express the fair's theme of a better life for former slaves.