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Campbell, Tunis Gulic  

Russell Duncan

abolitionist and Georgia politician, was born free in Middlebrook, New Jersey, the son of John Campbell, a blacksmith, and an unknown mother. From 1817 to 1830 he attended an otherwise all-white Episcopal school in Babylon, New York, where he trained to be a missionary to Liberia under the auspices of the American Colonization Society. Rebelling against his training and calling himself “a moral reformer and temperance lecturer,” Campbell moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey, converted to Methodism, joined an abolition society, and began to preach against slavery, colonization, alcohol, and prostitution. He joined Frederick Douglass on speaking tours and participated in the Colored Convention Movement, a new nationwide organization that aimed at racial uplift and black voting rights.

From 1832 to 1845 Campbell lived and worked in New York City as a steward at the Howard Hotel Later for an undetermined period he worked at the Adams House ...


Carey, Archibald James, Jr.  

David Michel

minister and activist, was born to Archibald J. Carey Sr., a Methodist minister, and Elizabeth Davis Carey in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Doolittle Elementary School and graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in 1925. As a youth Carey exhibited strong speaking skills and won the Chicago Daily News Oratorical Contest in 1924. In his adolescent years he was much influenced by his father, a staunch Republican politician, who took him to a private meeting with President Theodore Roosevelt.

After high school the young Carey pursued his education at the local Lewis Institute, where he earned a BS in 1928. He married Hazel Harper Carey, with whom he had one daughter, Carolyn. In 1929 he was ordained by his father who had become a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal AME Church The following year Carey was assigned to the Woodlawn AME Church in ...


Lee, Joseph E.  

Antje Daub

Florida Republican political leader, lawyer, and African Methodist Episcopal (AME) minister, was born free in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the names of his parents are unknown, Lee was orphaned while an infant and was raised by Quakers. He attended Cheyney University, then known as the Institute for Colored Youth, the first black high school in the United States. After graduating in 1869, Lee moved to Washington, D.C., to begin a clerkship under the controversial “governor” of the District, Alexander Robey “Boss” Shepherd. Intermittently, Lee attended Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., a historically black institution established in 1867. Lee attended Howard at a time when African American leaders were clamoring for black lawyers who could help in the struggle to secure the rights of African Americans. He graduated with an LLB degree in 1872.

Lee then relocated to Jacksonville Florida and was ...


Randolph, Benjamin Franklin  

Daniel W. Hamilton

Reconstruction politician, civil rights leader, and murder victim, was born free in Kentucky, the child of parents of mixed ethnicity whose names are unknown. When he was a child Randolph's family moved to Ohio, where he was educated in local schools. In 1854 he entered Oberlin College's preparatory department, before attending the college from 1857 to 1862. At Oberlin Randolph received instruction both in the liberal arts and at the college's theological seminary. Soon after graduation he was ordained as a Methodist Episcopal minister. During the Civil War Randolph served as a chaplain in the Twenty-sixth Colored Infantry, which was dispatched to Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 1864.

After the war ended in 1865 Randolph applied for a position with the Freedmen s Bureau He was not initially given an appointment but was instead sent to South Carolina by the American Missionary Association a ...


Roundtree, Dovey  

Katie McCabe

lawyer, minister, Army veteran, and activist, was born Dovey Mae Johnson in Charlotte, North Carolina, the second oldest of four daughters of James Eliot Johnson, an AME Church printer, and Lela Bryant Johnson, a seamstress and domestic servant. The primary formative influence of Roundtree's childhood was her maternal grandmother, Rachel Bryant Graham, who took the family to live with her and her husband, the Rev. Clyde Graham, an AME Church minister, after the death of Roundtree's father in the 1919 influenza epidemic. While Roundtree's burning academic ambition derived largely from her mother and her grandfather, who refused to see the family's poverty as an obstacle to the children's educational advancement, her “Grandma Rachel's courage and sense of justice shaped Roundtree spiritually A woman with only a third grade education Rachel Graham was nevertheless an influential and highly respected figure in the ...


Sampson, John Patterson  

James Edward Ford

lawyer, minister, teacher, writer, and editor, was born free of African and Scottish descent in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was educated in the public school system of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then went on to Comer's College in Boston, graduating in 1856.

After graduation, Sampson moved to Jamaica, Long Island, to begin his career teaching in its public school system. By 1862 he had moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and started the newspaper, The Colored Citizen, the only black newspaper in the North established during the Civil War. Sampson edited the newspaper along with Joseph C. Corbin, Charles W. Bell, H. F. Leonard, and Reverend George Williams Even by its title one can surmise that the newspaper spoke out for and about African Americans as a citizenry The paper lived up to its title with pronouncements such as considering what the nation owes ...


Smith, Owen L. W.  

Steven J. Niven

minister, magistrate, and diplomat, was born Owen Lun West Smith in Giddensville, Sampson County, North Carolina, the son of Ollen Smith and Maria (Hicks), both slaves. Although Owen was only ten years old when the Civil War broke out in 1861, he served for part of the war as the personal servant of a Confederate officer, most likely his owner or a son of his owner. Several accounts suggest that Smith was present at the Battle of Bentonville in North Carolina near the war's end in March 1865. Some of these accounts insist that he was still a body servant for a Confederate soldier. Others claim that that by the age of thirteen, in 1864 Smith like many eastern North Carolina slaves and some buffaloes poor whites hostile to the area s wealthy and all powerful slave owners had fled the Confederate lines to ...


Stewart, T. McCants  

Clarence G. Contee

Born free in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of George Gilchrist and Anna (Morris) Stewart, McCants Stewart attended school in that city. He entered the academy at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1869, remaining there until 1873. He then entered the University of South Carolina and received his B.A. degree in 1875 as valedictorian and his LL.B. (bachelor of laws) degree in the same year. In that year he became a partner with Robert Brown Elliott and David Augustus Straker in their Charleston law firm. At the same time, he was professor of mathematics in the State Agricultural College, Orangeburg. According to his own account, he then studied theology and philosophy at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.

Ordained a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) on October 13, 1877, he was pastor of Bethel AME Church in New York City ...


Stewart, Thomas McCants  

David Schroeder

educator, minister, lawyer, and justice, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the first of two children born to George Gilchrist Stewart, a blacksmith, and Anna Morris Stewart, a dressmaker, both free blacks. Stewart attended, but did not graduate from, Avery Normal Institute in the late 1860s, and he entered Howard University in 1869. He matriculated at the integrated University of South Carolina as a junior in 1874, and he graduated in December of the following year with bachelor of arts and bachelor of laws degrees. Stewart married Charlotte “Lottie” Pearl Harris in 1876, and they had three children: McCants (1877), Gilchrist (1879), and Carlotta (1881).

Stewart began his career practicing law in Sumter, and he taught math at the State Agricultural and Mechanical School in Orangeburg during the 1877–1878 school year. South Carolina congressman Robert ...