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John Gilmore

Politician, born in Jamaica into a family of wealthy plantation owners. Sent to England in 1723, he was educated at Westminster School and Oxford. He later studied medicine at Leiden in Holland, but broke off his course there when the death of his father obliged him to return to Jamaica in 1735. When his elder brother died in 1737, he inherited most of the family properties and continued to add to them by inheritance and purchase over the next 30 years. At the time of his death he was sole owner of thirteen sugar plantations in Jamaica, together with other real estate and about 3,000 slaves.

In 1737William Beckford became a member of the Jamaican House of Assembly, but by 1744 he had left Jamaica for Britain where he settled in London as a West India merchant selling the produce of his own estates ...


Frank N. Schubert

William Jefferson Hardin was born in Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, of unknown parents. He was raised and educated by Shakers in South Union, Kentucky, until he was able to teach school to free African American children. Hardin migrated to California during the Gold Rush of 1849 and remained there for four years. He then lived for brief periods in Canada, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska before moving to Colorado in 1863. Hardin operated a barbershop in Denver for ten years and established a reputation as a Republican politician and public speaker. During his years in Denver he was a close associate and friend of African American political activist Barney Ford in the struggle for political rights for African Americans in Colorado. He also served as a delegate at several Republican conventions in Colorado Territory. Hardin left Denver in 1873 after a short stint as gold weigher and clerk ...


Eugene H. Berwanger

legislator, was born in Russellville, Kentucky, the illegitimate son of a free mixed-race woman (name unknown) and a white father. Hardin claimed that his father was the brother of Ben Hardin, a Kentucky politician and congressman, but the fact cannot be verified. Raised in a Shaker community in South Union, Kentucky, Hardin's educational and social opportunities were unusual for a person considered black in the antebellum period.

Following the completion of his own education, Hardin became a teacher for “free children of color” in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but soon left the teaching profession and traveled in the midwestern states and Canada. In 1850 he returned to Kentucky, where he married Caroline K. (maiden name unknown) and fathered one child. Sometime between his marriage and the outbreak of the Civil War, Hardin moved his family to Iowa.

Leaving his first family in Iowa Hardin relocated in Denver Colorado Territory ...


Alexander J. Chenault

businessman, politician, mayor of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina (2005), was born Clarence Ray Nagin in New Orleans's Charity Hospital to Clarence Ray Nagin Sr., who worked as a fabric cutter by day, and a janitor at New Orleans City Hall at night, and Theresa, who worked at the lunch counter in a local New Orleans Kmart store. Clarence Ray Jr. and his two sisters grew up in the historic Seventh Ward section of New Orleans, home to many Creole, Roman Catholic families. He attended O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans, where he excelled in baseball and basketball. In 1978, after having played on a baseball scholarship, Nagin graduated from Tuskegee University in Alabama with a degree in accounting. In 1982 Nagin married Seletha Smith, with whom he had three children, Jeremy, Jarin, and Tianna.

After short stints with General Motors ...


Daryl A. Carter

mayor of Philadelphia, was born Michael Anthony Nutter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Basil, a drug company sales representative and part-time plumber and Catalina Bargas Nutter, a worker at Bell Telephone. He grew up in West Philadelphia and attended St. Joseph's Preparatory School in North Philadelphia. His prep experience imbued Nutter with an intellectual curiosity about life, work, politics, and race. He studied the work and writings of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and joined the school's Black Culture Club. Even at an early age Nutter was concerned with social justice for those he believed were dispossessed, repressed, or otherwise exploited by the mainstream society. At the same time, he developed an interest in music and the post–civil rights movement of black culture and politics. Nutter was a strong student and earned a B.A. in Business in 1979 from the prestigious Wharton School ...


Melissa Nicole Stuckey

pharmacist, bank owner, and mayor of an African American community, was born David Johnson Turner, the fifth of twelve children, to Moses and Lucy (Lulu) Turner in Cass County, Texas. During his teen years, the Turners joined the steady stream of African Americans who left Texas and other Southern states for the Oklahoma and Indian Territories. Many black migrants were attracted to Indian Territory, which was divided up among the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians, known as the Five Civilized Tribes. Moses and Lulu Turner rented a farm in the Seminole Nation, Indian Territory, where David Turner and his younger siblings came of age.

In 1895, Turner wed Minnie also a child of Texas migrants and the young couple began raising their own family on a rented farm near Turner s parents Within a few years however Turner moved his family to ...