African-American officeholders in the United States, 1789–1866
The United States has had five African American elected office holders prior to 1867. After Congress passed the First Military Reconstruction Act of 1867 and ratified the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1870, African Americans began to be elected or appointed to national, state, county and local offices throughout the United States.
- Wentworth Cheswell first served in an elective office in 1776 as a local school board member in Newmarket, New Hampshire. He would serve in elective office until his death in 1817.
- Alexander Lucius Twilight was an American educator, politician, and minister. He was the first African American to earn a college degree from an American College at Middlebury College in 1823. He is the first African American elected to serve in a state legislature. He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1836. Twilight was also a minister and secondary school principal, building Athenian Hall at the Orleans County Grammar Schools.
- John Mercer Langston
- Edward Garrison Walker
- Charles Lewis Mitchell was one of two African Americans to be elected as a state legislator in Massachusetts in 1866. The other state legislator was Edward G. Walker. He served a one year term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. During the American Civil War he served in the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and lost a foot during the Battle of Honey Hill.
List of African-American Officeholders of the United States, 1789-1866
- Political Parties
Party affiliation not knownRepublican
|Officeholder||State||Public office||Took office||Left office||Party||Ref.|
|New Hampshire||Local School Board||1776|||
|Justice of the Peace||1805||1817|
||Alexander L. Twilight
||John Mercer Langston
|Ohio||Township Clerk||1854||Liberty Party of Ohio|||
||Edward G. Walker
|Charles L. Mitchell
- African Americans in the United States Congress
- List of African-American United States Cabinet Secretaries
State and local government
- Walton, Puckett & Deskins (2012), pp. 185–186.
- Hewitt (1991), pp. 453.
- Baum (1983), pp. 62.
- Walton, Puckett & Deskins (2012), pp. 185 (table), 186–187.
- Cocom (1999).
- Fitts (1912), pp. 103, 468.
- Hahan (1998).
- Smith (1993), pp. 118 note 59.
- Walton, Puckett & Deskins (2012), pp. 14, 185 (table), 186.
- Smith (1993), pp. 408.
- United States Congress.
- Walton, Puckett & Deskins (2012), pp. 14, 185 (table).
- Smith (1993), pp. 100, 118 note 59.
- "Alexander Twilight". Old Stone House Museum. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Baum, Dale (March 1983). "Woman Suffrage and the "Chinese Question": The Limits of Radical Republicanism in Massachusetts, 1865-1876". The New England Quarterly 56 (1).
- Cocom, Mario de ` y (1999). "Cheswell". Secret Daughter: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- "Langston, John Mercer, (1829 - 1897)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Fitts, James Hill (1912). Carter, ed. History of Newfields, New Hampshire, 1638-1911. The Rumford Press. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Hahan, Michael (1998). Alexander Twilight: Vermont's African American Pioneer. Shelburne, Vermont: New England Press. ISBN 978-1-881535-31-7.
- Hewitt, John H. (Autumn 1991). "A Black New York Newspaperman's Impressions of Boston, 1883". The Massachusetts Review 32 (3).
- Hurst, Ryan. "Walker, Edwin Garrison (1830-1901)". BlackPast.org: Remembered & Reclaimed. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Smith, J. Clay, Jr. (1993). Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 9780812216851.
- Walton, Jr., Hanes; Puckett, Sherman C.; Deskins, Jr., Donald R. (2012). The African American Electorate: A Statistical History. Congressional Quarterly Press. ISBN 9780872895089.
- Winter, Kari J. "Twilight, Alexander (1795-1857)". BlackPast.org: Remembered & Reclaimed. Retrieved 5 January 2013.