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David M. Fahey

temperance reformer, federal customs official, and educator, was born William Middleton Artrell, of one quarter African and three quarters European ancestry, at Nassau in the Bahamas. There Artrell benefited from a basic education on the British model, acquired experience as a schoolteacher, and became a staunch Episcopalian.

During the American Civil War the Bahamas prospered as a result of services to blockade runners, who transported British cargo in the short but dangerous voyage between the Bahamas and the Confederate coast. When the war ended, however, economic depression forced many Bahamians to seek work in the United States. In 1870 Artrell migrated to Key West, at that time a major port in Florida. Unlike most African Americans in the South, he had never been a slave. In 1870 Key West opened the Douglass School for African American children Artrell became its first principal and as a result he was sometimes ...


Debra Jackson

writer, temperance advocate, and educator, was born Ada Augusta Newton in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest of the three children of Alexander Herritage Newton, a trained mason, and Olivia Augusta (Hamilton) Newton, who was the eldest daughter of Robert Hamilton, the radical abolitionist and owner and editor of the Weekly Anglo-African newspaper. When Ada was eight years old her mother died and shortly thereafter her father, a recently licensed preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination, was directed by the AME leadership to manage the church at Pennington, New Jersey. This was the first of dozens of appointments for Newton, and Ada's early years were characterized by constant travel from city to city as her father's ministry took him to all regions of the country. Despite the incessant moving, Ada received a good elementary education.

Ada worked closely with her father on church matters Indeed she ...


Judith E. Harper

educator and temperance leader, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the youngest child of Thomas Woodson, a prosperous farmer and former slave, and Jemimma Riddle, about whom little is known. Descendants of Thomas Woodson, relying on an oral history passed down from the nineteenth century, have long believed that he was the oldest son of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, a slave of mixed race who served Jefferson's family in the years before he became the third U.S. president. Although DNA analysis has confirmed that Hemings's two youngest sons were fathered by either Jefferson, his brother Randolph Jefferson, or one of Randolph's sons, DNA studies have not established a genetic relationship between Thomas Woodson and any of the Jefferson men.

Around 1830 when Early was five years old the Woodsons and several other African American families left the Chillicothe area to move to Berlin Crossroads ...


Sam Onyejindu Oleka

educator, civil rights activist, and politician, was born on a plantation in Louisa County, Virginia, the second son of Captain Ralph Quarles and Lucy Jane Langston. Lucy Langston was Captain Quarles's part-Amerindian and part-black slave, whom he freed with her daughter Mary. Quarles, who died in 1833, left the greater portion of his personal wealth and property to his three sons. Charles Langston's younger brother, John Mercer Langston wrote that their father gave Charles a start in education that influenced him throughout life He had a weak body but was compensated with a firm mind and intellectual endowment Although he had a well controlled disposition and temper this did not come to him easily and naturally and he tended to be impetuous and aggressive He was restive under discipline and opposition yet resolutely obedient to the training his father gave him because he ...