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Benjamin R. Justesen

attorney and the first black federal judge in the United States, was born in Orange, Virginia, a freeborn son of the former slaves William Henry Harrison Terrell and Louisa Ann (Coleman) Terrell. During the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, the Terrell family moved to Washington, DC, where Harrison Terrell was a member of the White House domestic staff and Robert Terrell was educated in the city's public schools.

Robert Terrell went on to preparatory school at Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts, before graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in 1884 the third African American to do so and the first to graduate cum laude from Harvard While at Harvard he supported himself as a clerk at the U S Customs House in Boston Returning to Washington he taught classes at the segregated Preparatory High School for Colored Youth later called M Street High School then ...