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Mossell, Aaron Albert, II  

Charles Rosenberg

the first African American to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, sprang from a talented family with deep roots in the Methodist Episcopal and African Methodist Episcopal (AME) churches, free a generation before the Civil War. Mossell spent a good part of his adult life in Cardiff, Wales, after a sojourn in South Africa.

The youngest son of Aaron Albert Mossell and Eliza Bowers Mossell, Mossell was born in Canada, where his father owned a brickyard in Hamilton, Ontario. The family had moved there from Maryland due to limited educational opportunities and social restrictions on free people of African descent, although his grandmother, Mrs. Catherine Mossell, remained a life-long member of Baltimore's Sharp Street United Methodist Church until her death in 1891. Before Mossell's second birthday, the family moved again, to Lockport, New York, where he grew up.

Like his older brothers, Charles Wesley Mossell ...