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Richard Newman

Jesuit priest and university president, was born in Jones County, Georgia, the son of Michael Morris Healy, an Irish American planter, and Eliza Clark, an African American woman he had purchased. The senior Healy deserted from the British army in Canada during the War of 1812 and by 1818 had made his way to rural Georgia, where he settled, speculated in land, and acquired a sizable plantation and numerous slaves. Healy acknowledged Eliza as “my trusty woman” in his will, which provided that she be paid an annuity, transported to a free state, and “not bartered or sold or disposed of in any way” should he predecease her. Healy also acknowledged his nine children by Eliza, although by state law they were slaves he owned, and he arranged for them to leave Georgia and move to the North, where they would become free.

After first sending his older ...

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David J. Endres

Roman Catholic priest and educator, was born to Mary Eliza Clark, a slave, and Michael Morris Healy, an immigrant from Ireland and a Georgia plantation owner. In 1829, Michael and Eliza entered into an unconventional union, a de facto marriage that was not recognized by law since it was illegal for blacks and whites to marry. Among their children was Alexander Sherwood the fourth of ten children born to them on the Healy plantation near Macon Georgia Legally Sherwood and all of the Healy children were born into slavery though their father never intended for them to remain on the plantation Instead he sought out possibilities for them in the North where they could be educated and escape from their status as slaves At the age of eight Healy arrived in Worcester Massachusetts to enter the grammar school of Holy Cross College After his departure ...

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Mary Reginald Gerdes

educator and founder of both the oldest Catholic school for African Americans and the first order of African American nuns in the United States, the Oblate Sisters of Providence. The place and date of Lange's birth are unknown. Oral tradition says that she was born on the western part of the island of St. Domingue (now Haiti). Born Elizabeth Lange, she was the offspring of mixed parentage and was a free mulatto. Her mother was Annette Lange her father s name is unknown The revolution on the isle of St Domingue coupled with the Napoleonic revolution forced the emigration of many natives both black and white refugees fled to other parts of the Western Hemisphere Lange arrived in the United States educated refined and fluent in French When she arrived on the shores of Maryland she encountered major problems She was a free person of color in a ...

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David J. Endres

Roman Catholic priest and educator, was the first African American ordained to the priesthood in the United States. Uncles was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Lorenzo and Anna Marie (Buchanan) Uncles, both of whom had been born free. His father worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a machinist. Though the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore had educated his mother, Anna Marie Buchanan, the family did not become Catholics until the founding of Saint Francis Xavier Church, Baltimore, in 1864, the first American Catholic parish organized for blacks. Consequently, Charles was not baptized until 2 April 1875 at the age of sixteen. After receiving lessons at a small, private school for blacks in Baltimore, Uncles attended secondary school in Baltimore and in 1878 enrolled in the Baltimore Normal School for Teachers. He taught in the county's public schools from 1880 to 1883 and ...