Newsome, Joseph Thomas
- Peter Wallenstein
lawyer and editor, was born in Sussex County, Virginia, the son of Joseph Newsom and Ann (maiden name unknown), former slaves. He graduated from Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (later Virginia State University) in 1894 and, after teaching for a time in Sussex County, graduated from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1899. Newsome joined the Virginia bar in 1899, moved to Phoebus (near Hampton), and then settled in Newport News. He married Mary B. Winfield, an 1892 graduate of Virginia Normal, in 1900; they had one daughter.
Newsome—or “Lawyer Newsome,” as he was known—practiced for four decades in the Newport News area. Active in politics, he served as the assistant sergeant at arms at the 1920 Republican National Convention in Chicago. Yet, bridling at the “lily-white” practices of his party, he ran in 1921 for the office of attorney general ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.