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Beverly Morgan-Welch

governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the only son of Emily Wintersmith Patrick and Laurdine (Pat) Patrick, a musician. Reared on the south side of Chicago by his mother, since his parents separated when he was four, and with his sister, Rhonda Patrick-Sigh, he attended Chicago Public Schools. Challenged by poverty and always seeking educational opportunities, his mother supported his application to A Better Chance, an organization dedicated to securing positions in independent and public schools for children of color. In 1970 Milton Academy in Massachusetts became the springboard for his stellar academic career. He graduated from Harvard University in 1978 cum laude with an AB in English and American Literature, becoming the first member of his family to receive a college degree, and Harvard Law School in 1982 During the intervening year between college and law school he worked ...


Caryn E. Neumann

first black governor of Massachusetts. Born on the South Side of Chicago, Deval Patrick grew up in poverty. He won a scholarship to a Boston preparatory school and then progressed through a bachelor's program at Harvard College in 1978 before graduating from Harvard Law School in 1982. He then became a staff lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1983 to 1986. In 1984 he married the labor attorney Diane Bemus. The couple, who live in the wealthy Boston suburb of Milton, have two daughters, Sarah and Katherine.

Patrick served as a partner in the Boston law firm Hill & Barlow from 1986 to 1994 before becoming the assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights. In 1997 Patrick left public service to spend three years as a partner in the law firm of Day Berry Howard He next spent a year as vice president ...


Dinah Mayo-Bobee

William Henry Seward, one of seven children born to the slaveholders Samuel Sweezy Seward and Mary Jennings Seward, became one of the most prominent antislavery politicians of the antebellum period. Trained as a lawyer, Seward served in the New York State Senate from 1830 to 1834 and was elected governor of New York in 1839. While he was governor, Seward signed legislation that protected the rights of New York's black citizens. The laws provided for jury trials in runaway cases, helped recover persons kidnapped into slavery, guaranteed education to black children, and freed slaves brought into the state. After leaving the governor's office in 1843, Seward continued his antislavery activism. In 1846 he defended Henry Wyatt and William Freeman African Americans charged with murder in Auburn New York In each case Seward defended the accused on the ground of insanity but public outrage and hostility over the ...