Chappelle, William David
- Charles Rosenberg
president of Allen University, thirty‐seventh bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina, the son of Henry Chappelle and Patsy McCrory Chappelle. Contemporary sources state that he was born enslaved, as were 98 percent of African Americans in South Carolina on the eve of the Civil War. There remains a possibility that he was free, since his recently widowed mother reported in the 1900 census that she was born in November 1827, and had been married fifty‐four years. Chappelle's maternal grandparents were Samuel and Fanny McCrory. Such stability of family name and marriage bonds may mean that his parents, or one of his parents had known freedom.
Chappelle attended the Fairfield Normal Institute at Winnsboro a school funded by northern Presbyterians staffed by northern educators considered white He experienced a Christian conversion at the age of nineteen making a life long ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.