The State Capitol and Mall represent an interesting political history for Minnesota's African Americans. In 1868, the state's black population reached 759 people. That year, the state amended its constitution to allow blacks to vote in state elections. It was almost 30 years later, in 1899, that John Francis (Frank) Wheaton became the first black man elected to the state legislature. African Americans would not hold office again for nearly 80 years, when they would be elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate (Ray Pleasant and B. Robert Lewis, respectively). The first black woman to be elected to the legislature was Neva Walker in 2001.