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Jones, James Monroe “Gunsmith”  

Verity J. Harding

gunsmith and engraver, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the eldest son of Allen Jones, a slave and a blacksmith, and Temperance Jones, a slave. He was one of eight children, a daughter and seven sons, born into a long line of slavery. His paternal grandfather, Charles Jones, was born in Africa around 1770 and brought to America to be sold into slavery some years later. Although born a slave, Gunsmith Jones was freed in 1829 when his father purchased liberty for his entire family Allen Jones was a skilled blacksmith who labored intensely for himself and his family while simultaneously performing his slave duties to earn the vast sum of money necessary to buy his family s freedom After saving the extraordinary amount of $2 000 he was cheated out of the money by his master and left with nothing With admirable determination he ...

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Overton, Anthony O., Jr.  

Debra Foster Greene

was born into slavery in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana to Anthony O. Overton, Sr. and Martha Deberry Overton. His father, Anthony Sr., was a businessman and Reconstruction-era Republican politician in Louisiana. At age thirteen, Overton and his family, which included his twenty-year-old brother, Mack Wilson Overton, migrated to Topeka, Kansas in December 1877 as part of the African American exodus from the South to Kansas.

Overton attended school in Topeka and took the three-year English and business course at Washburn College. According to the college catalog, the course was designed for “many who have neither the time nor the means for pursing a more extended course of study.” He then went to Lawrence, Kansas to study law at the University of Kansas. There he met Clara Gregg, whom he married on 14 June 1888, and together they had four children, Everett (1889), Mabel (1891 Eva ...