Julius Caesar Chappelle

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Julius Caesar Chappelle (1852-1904) was known as a popular and effective African-American politician who served in public office at the State House in Boston, Massachusetts from 1883 to 1891. Hon. Chappelle was regarded as a champion of civil rights and was reelected and reappointed to political positions several times.

Julius Caesar Chappelle (1852–1904) was an African-American politician born into slavery in South Carolina. After the American Civil War, he lived for a time with his family in LaVilla, Florida, helping develop the new town. In 1870, he was one of numerous Southern black migrants to Boston, Massachusetts, which had a thriving black community and strong abolitionist history. He later joined the Republican Party that was founded by abolitionists, and Chappelle was elected to two terms in the Massachusetts state legislature, serving 1883-1886.[1][2] Julius Caesar Chappelle was also the first African-American to serve on the Massachusetts State Senate Committee where he served three terms.[3] Chappelle was active in supporting civil rights, trying to reduce discrimination, and consumer affairs. His speeches were frequently covered by newspapers.[4] Throughout his life and political career, he held secondary supervisory government positions in maintenance, such as at the United States Post Office and US Boston Custom House. Although Julius Caesar Chappelle may have graced the same pages in newspapers as Frederick Douglass, Chappelle is not as well known because he is not known to have left much of a literary footprint such as writing manuscripts or for pamphlets.

Early life and education in South Carolina[edit]

Julius Caesar Chappelle was born into slavery in 1852 at Chappelle's Landing, a plantation near Edgefield, Newberry County, South Carolina, to an enslaved mother. He was classified as a "mulatto," visibly of mixed race, with African-European ancestry.[5] Among his siblings were brothers Lewis and Mitchell. This upland area was developed for cotton cultivation in antebellum era after the invention of the cotton gin made short-staple cotton profitable. Edgefield also was known for its potteries. South Carolina has been documented as having some of the worst conditions for slaves during the time period of slavery in America, and its population was majority black from before the American Revolution into the early 20th century. During slavery, it was often common for plantation owners to break up families and move them to different plantations of the same owner in order to stop possible uprisings. There is evidence that during very early childhood Julius C. Chappelle and at least one of his brothers may have been moved from South Carolina to two other plantations in different states before being brought back to the South Carolina plantations in Newberry County, South Carolina.[6]

Chapelle was 13 years old when slavery was abolished following the end of the American Civil War. He studied at an academy for black students in nearby Edgefield. He continued his studies later in Boston, graduating from high school.[7]

South Carolina was an area of white resistance after the Civil War, and during Reconstruction to the new freedoms for former slaves after they were emancipated. Insurgent groups were active in trying to maintain white supremacy. In 1868, what was known as "The Death Card" was a playing card of hate circulated among white supremacists and it contained many images on the one card of white and people of color of South Carolina that were in public office and against slavery. The death card was created by white supremacist in public office in South Carolina.[8] The Ku Klux Klan had numerous chapters that attacked freedmen to maintain white supremacy and establish dominance. Due to the severity of the insurgents' attacks, in 1871 President Ulysses Grant ordered the National Guard of the United States into nine counties in South Carolina, declaring martial law in order to suppress the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK usually raided towns, as many towns in South Carolina such as the Town of Newberry were abolitionist, whereas the slave plantation areas were not. The KKK made bull whip and shooting raids against freedmen and their allies in areas such as Newberry County.[9]

Move to LaVilla, Florida with his relatives[edit]

As a youth, Julius C. Chappelle moved to Florida in 1869/1870 with two brothers, other relatives and freedmen from South Carolina to help build LaVilla.[4][10] The town was later annexed by Jacksonville, Florida.

His older brothers Louis and Mitchell Chappelle settled in LaVilla, Florida becoming active in business and politics. They were each elected to local public offices during the Reconstruction era.[4] Mitchell was appointed as LaVilla Tax Collector (1873–1874 and 1876–1877), and served as Duval County Justice of the Peace from 1874–1877. He was elected as mayor, serving 1874–1876, and as city Councilman (1877-1878).[11] Julius' brother Louis Chappelle was a LaVilla councilman, serving from 1875–1877.[11] He became known as an astute businessman and professional carpenter. He also fathered several children in Florida including Lewis Chappelle, 2nd., James Jr., and Pat H. Chappelle of The Rabbit's Foot Company, and Pat was known as a traveling "Pioneer of African-American Vaudeville." Julius C. Chappelle helped Pat (also known a musical prodigy) with his early career by introducing him to entertainment promoters in Boston, MA, and Pat was able to play some of the museum circuits in Boston, and New York City before starting his traveling vaudeville show. Pat and his brothers Lewis, 2nd., and James Chappelle later moved to Tampa, Florida where they helped run the Buckingham Theatre and Saloon until the early 1900s.[12] Together, the brothers also became Funny Folks and Chappelle Bros., under the help of their cousin Mitchell P. Chappelle, who helped run a restaurant and printing press in Tampa, Florida, and who later became a minister in the A.M.E. Church and was active in civil rights organizations.

Move to Boston, Massachusetts and his civil rights leadership[edit]

In November 1870, the young Julius Chappelle moved to Boston.[13] The city was known for its thriving black community and attracted many migrants from Southern states in the 19th century. He found work as a custodial engineer for the Boston Herald newspaper, staying with them for 13 years. He later worked as building superintendent at a United States Post Office and at the United States Boston Custom House.

Starting out in politics and promoting civil rights

Lewis Hayden helped bring Julius C. Chappelle into the Republican Party and started Chappelle out giving him the task to register people to vote. Chappelle was quite successful at it, and was known for his neat appearance as he also learned the barber's trade when in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The newspapers described Chappelle as having a brisk walk and as being well spoken. Boston's Sunday Herald in 1886 described that Chappelle was thought of as an "Adonis" by the African-American community.[14][15] Getting involved in politics, Chappelle was appointed as an Inspector at Elections.[1] In the early 1880s, he was nominated as the Republican candidate for the state legislature from Ward 9; he defeated the other candidates in this mainly all-white district that included the Beacon Hill area, and was elected to the Massachusetts General Court for two terms from 1883 to 1886. He served three terms on the state committee of the Republican Party, and was in this third term the president of the state committee in Boston, Massachusetts and was the first African-American in this position. He was active in the Massachusetts State House politics of that time.[3] In the state legislature he served on committees for the "Federal relations and engrossed bill," and "Public Land and State House."[4] 'He became one of the early prominent African-American legislators (1883–1886),[16][17][18]

The Ward 9 area of Boston was also called the ninth Suffolk district and was composed of 2,800 voters in 1886, and The Boston Globe described the area as "Republican politics in Ward 9 are never dull, but they promise to be unusually lively during the next few days. There is not another ward in the whole town that so completely embraces all the grades of society. On the voting lists of one precinct are few voting names that do not bear the Celtic stamp, while another precinct is composed entirely of colored men. Then there is the precinct where the voters are mostly of the middle walk, where still in another the most pretentious people of Boston are still in control."[19]

Representative Chappelle introduced a bill in 1883 in Massachusetts to stop economic exploitation of African-American men in Louisiana that were incarcerated on minor charges and forced to work for low wages on chain-gangs with hardened criminals. The New York Globe carried the story on page 1, "Boston, Jan 25─Representative Chappelle of the 9th Ward has introduced a bill in the legislature, asking the entire delegation from the state in Massachusetts to take immediate action in the matter of the convict labor system in Louisiana. It is understood that colored men arrested in that state for slight offenses are forced into the chain-gang, and compelled to work on the Mississippi levees. It is also understood that the contractors for these levees receive $1.50 per day for each man's labor. In order to fill their own purses and avoid the employment of honest labor, they contract the state of Louisiana for the hire of its convicts at the rate of 25 cents per day. If a colored man should be arrested for the mere trifle crime of drunkenness, which in any other state would be a penalty of a fine of a few dollars, he has to work side by side with murderers, thieves, and other notorious criminals."[20]

Julius Caesar Chappelle giving the political stage to James G. Blaine in a lighthearted cartoon, 1880s.

Representative Chappelle argued for the Civil Rights Bill further supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1866, stating that discrimination of people of color in public places such as skating rinks was wrong, and that even if the public places were not congenial in general, that people of color had the right to go to them if they wanted, Chappelle argued for infinite opening of doors to public places to people of color. He promoted African-American civil rights, and worked on consumer affairs issues.[21] He was a popular spokesperson for civil rights. The Boston Daily Globe in 1885 reported that Representative Chappelle stated "It is on the principle of rights that belong to us that we want this bill passed and public places thrown open." Civil rights lawyers at the hearing argued that taxpayers of color should receive equal treatment to public places paid for by tax payer money, regardless of race. The opposition tried to claim that there was not discrimination as whites were thrown out of public places also.[22]

Chappelle also served as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago that nominated James G. Blaine.[21][23] Julius Caesar Chappelle was very loyal to the Republican Party in general, and fully supported African-Americans in Republican politics with helpful speeches and meetings that were sometimes covered by the media. In 1884, New York Herald wrote about Boston politics, "We are now informed by Mr. Grimké, editor of The Hub, Judge L. Roftin, J.C. Chappelle, Lewis Hayden, J. H. Wolf, and J.J. Smith—all leading citizens of the 'Athens of America'–that the colored vote of Boston is for Blaine."[24]

In early August 1890, Chappelle spoke about the right of blacks to vote in every United States state, to an "enthusiastic" meeting in Boston's Faneuil Hall to support the Federal Elections Bill. The meeting was covered by The New York Age newspaper under the headline, "At the Cradle of Liberty: Enthusiastic Endorsement of the Elections Bill." It reported: in the August 9, 1890 issue, on the front page, describing the event: "Seated upon the platform were Edwin G. Walker, Capt. Nathaniel Appleton, Col. N. P. Hallowell, Rev. Jesse Harrell, Rev. R. F. Hurley, Rev. A. M. Whaley, J. D. N. R. Powell, Joshua A. Brockett, Joseph W. Hendricks, Wm. H. Dupree, Thos. P. Taylor, Geo. Howard, Richard S. Brown, Geo. S. Glover, J. M. Turner, John Slater, Councilman Chase E. Harris, and Paul Brooks, Jas. H. Wolff, Mark R. DeMortie, Edward Everett Brown, J. Gordon Street, W. W. Doherty, Wm. O. Armstrong, Nelson G. Gaskins, I. D. Bargett, Wm. O. Job[h]nson. The meeting was called to order by Hon. Julius C. Chappelle who in a few remarks said: 'We have meet here tonight to endorse the Federal Elections bill, now pending in the Senate of the United States. I regret the occasion of such a meeting as this for the reason that the principles of this bill were placed upon the Republican platform when we nominated our present President, and who, in this message to Congress, recommended the principles of such a measure. We hear through the Independent and Democratic press that there is a sufficient number of weak kneed Republicans to defeat the passage of this bill and am pleased to find so many of our leading business men willing to support it. These same independent papers seem to be in direct opposition to anything that will tend to give the Negro a fair chance. In the days of slavery, they were opposed to freedom and are now opposed to our obtaining our rights. This bill should have passed 25 years ago. We would not have been subjected to the treatment received now. The North and South have always had trouble and will continue to do so until every man has his rights. The vote of the Negro must be counted with as much honesty in South Carolina as any white man's in Massachusetts.'"[25]

Expressing concerns about the future of the Massachusetts Republican Party for people of color

In 1892, Julius C. Chappelle expressed concern about the new white Republican Party of Massachusetts as not being as generous as the older white abolitionist Republican Party. His remarks were covered by the Boston Daily Globe on January 23, 1892 as Chappelle spoke at his retirement party from the Republican State committee, given at the Young's Hotel (Boston) by his friends. He commented then that the new white Republicans were not generous and were/would under-employ African-Americans as janitors instead of building superintendents or other better positions, and that would not be helpful in African-Americans holding political positions in the future; and, he noted that African-American youth would feel stuck in a rut.[26] During that time period, some politicians held outside positions in addition to their political endeavors for financial safety, and the outside positions they held may have swayed voters, and it was thought by Chappelle that a lower status outside position, such as a janitor, may sway voters not to vote for a candidate.

At the Fraternal Association's 22nd annual banquet held at the Quincy House (Boston, Massachusetts) in 1892, the Boston Daily Globe reported that Chappelle mentioned, "I have seen that Massachusetts is no longer a safe State for Republicans," and mentioned that men of color in public office were not receiving positions as even messengers at the State House. ". . . Since Judge Russell was collector of the port of Boston, has a colored man received a decent position?"[27]

Political campaigns and life during political career[edit]

Julius C. Chappelle faced many political candidates as many wanted the political positions he ran for. His Democratic opponents were well-organized and strategic. At least two elections that he won were recounted with Chappelle proven to be the winner.

In the early 1880s, when Chappelle was nominated to the Massachusetts General Court, he was opposed by other African-American candidates. An elected African-American secretary in his own party said that he had been elected by fraud.[28] The charges against Chappelle were proven untrue with a recount of two times. The New York Globe wrote in its Boston politics section, "Chappelle will, in the opinion of many white and colored voters, be elected in spite of such mean tricks." [29]

In 1883, Chappelle defeated John Andrews, son of the war governor. He defeated Democrat Brooks Adams (son of Charles Francis, the great-grandson of a past President John Adams).

In the campaigning of 1884-1885, Chappelle narrowly defeated Charles Albert Prince, son of ex-Mayor Prince. In the heated election where Julius C. Chappelle ran against top contender Charles A. Prince for the Massachusetts General Court, The Boston Daily Globe reported, "The House committee on elections took up yesterday the petition of Julius C. Chappelle for the seat now held by Charles A. Prince from the ninth Suffolk district." The original count was for 831 votes for Julius C. Chappelle and 800 for that Charles A. Prince. However, a recount was "done in a "hurried manner by the Board of Alderman" and not asked for by Chappelle, and the recount was done supposedly without Chappelle's knowledge or presence, and it that showed 730 votes for Chappelle and 815 votes for Prince. Chappelle afterward upon hearing the recount tally, declared the recount illegal and made a petition stating that votes for him "were given to Prince," that the "board" refused to recount 51 votes for Chappelle that were "effaced" by stickers in the area where "for Representative" was located, and that the original vote tally should remain. The Boston Daily Globe watching the political scene reported, "it looks very much as if Chappelle were the evening man." Prince later conceded the election to Chappelle in a letter that was printed in at least one newspaper. Prince stated that the stickers affected both candidates, and Prince no longer wanted the senate seat as it seemed that the sticker issue caused Prince the dismay of not wanting to partake in politics mentioning in his resignation letter that ". . .the stickers for one of the candidates for senator were either so broad or so carelessly pasted upon the ballot that it covered the title of the vote for representative printed beneath thereon. Both Mr. Chappelle and myself were sufferers by reason thereof . . . "[30][31]

After Prince bowed out of the election, and Chappelle's original count had him leading Prince, adding Prince's votes to his own would have definitely further solidified the victory. However, according to news reports, there was a more hidden agenda against Chappelle and the Boston Daily Globe that sometimes wrote about the Republicans' mistreatment of African-Americans did report it.

In its "A Sample of Meaness," the Boston Daily Globe[32] wrote that after Julius C. Chappelle who was the decided Republican winner of Ward 9 after the recount and Prince's resignation, found that the Republican Party tried to prevent Chappelle from having an actual chair to sit in the usually designated area by pinning the name of a white Republican on the chair at the General Court, causing Chappelle to find another "out-of the way" chair to sit in at the General Court, adding "Cases somewhat similar have occurred before, but for studied measures this one takes the lead, because planned and carried out by acknowledged leaders of the party which hypocritically pretends to look with horror upon any insult or injury to one of the colored race."

The next day, the Republican Party at the General Court tried to issue an explanation of the incident to the Boston Daily Globe stating, "No assaults were made on the sanctity of Quality Corner yesterday, but a dweller therein took incident to say: 'The Globe was not fair this morning. No disposition was shown to bar out Mr. Chappelle, and knowing that, custom allowed Mr. Prince to give his seat to whoever he pleased. We asked him to let Mr. Rantoul come in. It was not a question of Chappelle or Rantoul, because it was not likely that Mr. Prince would have saved his chair for his political opponent . . . . ." [33] There was no explanation reported by the newspaper of why the Republican Party tried to do that when Chappelle had won when the original vote tally had Chappelle ahead of Prince.

Later that year, the Boston Daily Globe reported "Julius C. Chappelle, who enjoys immensely that distinction of being the first colored man to sit for so long a period on Beacon Hill" where the staunch Republican Chappelle was mentioned within a column devoted mainly to Democrats.[34]

Chappelle was seen as having tough contenders by the newspapers that followed the elections to the extent that sometimes they thought he would not win. "Mr. Julius C. Chappelle, the colored man on the Ward 9 Republican representative ticket, is evidently to be sacrificed by his friends of his white associate. The Journal significantly hints that 'the Republicans of Ward 9 should see to it that Henry Parkman is elected to the house by a good majority.'" [35] Yet, Chappelle was reelected, defeating Robert Hooper, the son of Hon. Samuel Hooper.[13][23]

Conservative entertainment in the 1880s and early 1900s, Julius Caesar Chappelle's nephew Pat H. Chappelle was a musical prodigy that dominated the Eastern seaboard with the popular African-American traveling vaudeville show, The Rabbit's Foot Comedy Company, and was also in the theater and saloon business.

Reported in Boston's Sunday Herald in 1886 was that "There is an active contest going on in Ward 9 among the colored Republicans as to who should be the Republican candidate for the General Court" as there were two main candidates running, Chappelle described as an effective and popular as a representative for four years; and, his African-American opponent and Councilman William O. Armstrong. The article reads that "Mr. Chappelle's friends" are trying to prevent his retirement as they fear a new person in office will not be able to perform the job as well, and that ". . . it is feared that with the retirement of Mr. Chappelle will end the representation of colored men at the State House for years to come." [36]

Campaigning Against Prohibition

The Prohibition Party, an original third party against the legalization of production and consumption of alcohol, was trying to win elections in the United States by running candidates since 1867, and the Prohibition Party was strongly supported by the Ku Klux Klan especially in the southern states. The Prohibition Party did not receive many votes, but their campaigning was aggressive and utilized many of the same well-known establishments as the two other political parties to hold their elections and rallies. The Prohibition Party were known as Democrats. However, some people of color were also against the legalization and sale of alcohol, and the Prohibition Party tried to win over those voters also and in the Massachusetts area, and were called the "Armstrong factions" during the late 1800s. One of Boston's African-American politicians they were able to recruit was Councilman William O. Armstrong.

Armstrong and Chappelle were Republican friends for many years attending many progressive events together along with other established African-Americans involved in politics like Lewis Hayden, with meetings held sometimes at Boston's AME Church on Charles Street, and similar. Yet, there seems to have been a slight division in platform in later years where Armstrong deviated.[36] Armstrong joined The Prohibition Party in full force, and tried to help recruit African-American voters. The Sunday Herald of 1891 wrote, "The Armstrong Committee proposes to make a grand demonstration on the evening before the election, by holding rallies in Boston, Chelsea, Cambridge, Newton, and several other places in the vicinity." One of those rally places was held at the AME Church on Fourth Street in Chelsea.[37] A few weeks later, Armstrong was mentioned in the newspapers of some tabloids by being the "first black man ever put on a state ticket," as he was nominated as "auditor" by Massachusetts' Prohibition Party. On the front page of Pennsylvania's The Patriot read "Edward E. Brown of Boston in a speech sharply arraigning Republican politicians for their treatment of colored people nominated the name of, William Oscar Armstrong, of Boston for auditor. . . Mr. Armstrong was finally nominated, after which three cheers were given for 'the first black man ever put on a state ticket.'",[38][39]

It was reported that the Boston Courant in 1891, considered the spokesperson of the African-American community there, wrote very harsh words against African-Americans that joined the Democratic Party and the Prohibition Party, reminding the African-American community of the Democrats' abuse of African-Americans in the past and some of the 1891 on goings in the United States where Democrats and Democratic policies were horribly abusing African-Americans.

The Boston Daily Globe reported in 1891 that "To offset the work by the Armstrong men seems to be the duty of the Republican faithful such as Julius C. Chappelle. It is understood by colored men that the campaign for colored men is left entirely in the hands of Mr. Chappelle and he is after the Armstrong men. Everywhere the Armstrong people hold meetings there, a night or so after, are the Chappelle men." The article also reads that the Armstrong men denied being associated with the Democratic Party.[40]

The Chappelle's were split on the prohibition issue, Lewis Chappelle, Julius C. Chappelle's brother and a prominent construction contractor in Florida, was for prohibition but belonged to a non-politically based anti-alcohol group. Lewis Chappelle's son, music prodigy Pat H. Chappelle known as the "Pioneer of Negro Vaudeville," who owned traveling The Rabbit's Foot Company was also in the theater and saloon business, and would visit his uncle Julius Caesar Chappelle in Boston, Massachusetts. Julius Caesar Chappelle and his constituents, colleagues, and friends took a stand against prohibition.

Chappelle serves State Senate Committee for three terms

Chappelle was nominated for three terms to the State Senate Committee and in his third term, he served as president of the State Senate Committee. The Boston Daily Globe reported in its discussion of the activities of the different Wards "Hon. Henry H. Sprague has been renominated for State Senator and Mr. Julius C. Chappelle has been reappointed a member of the Republican State Committee. The action was taken by the Republican Convention for the Fifth Suffolk Senatorial District, which was held yesterday afternoon at 375 Washington Street, with Mr. Charles G. Wood of Ward 11 as chairman and Mr. Chappelle as Secretary." A "unamimous" vote "gave Mr. Chappelle a third term as member of the Republican State Committee although the district usually gives its representatives there two years only.",[41][42]

Chappelle is overlooked for Washington, D.C. appointment

Julius C. Chappelle, after serving in political office in Massachusetts for several years including the four terms as legislator and several terms on the State Senate Committee, tried to receive a promotion and further the civil rights and consumer rights cause by obtaining an appointed position in Washington, D.C., but he was not considered or mentioned for a position, and two white Massachusetts Republican senators, Henry L. Dawes and George Frisbie Hoar, were particularly criticized for not doing more for the several African-American office holders in Massachusetts that wanted to work in Washington, D.C. It was said that the white Republican senators did not mention any African-Americans politicians in Massachusetts to the Republican president Benjamin Harrison even though they all successfully campaigned for Harrison to become president, and the African-American politicians in Massachusetts noted that the previous Democratic president Grover Cleveland had appointed two African-Americans from Massachusetts.[43] Chappelle must have been surprised by being overlooked, as the white Republican senators of Boston, Massachusetts helped support the Civil Rights Bill and other civil rights issues.

Members of the Massachusetts Club gave Massachusetts Club member Chappelle their endorsement for the Federal Elections Bill and for Massachusetts Club member Senator Hoar's support of that Bill during and annual outing that took place in 1890 at a beach at Nantasket where approximately 25 members attended, as reported by The Boston Herald.

Helping African-American businesses obtain first class licenses and equality

The Boston Daily Globe reported that in August 1895, "A meeting of the Douglass political club was held last night at the Tourist hotel." The discussion concerned "'Why is it that colored men are refused licenses of a first class by the police commission of the city of Boston?'" and discussed was that about 11,000 African-Americans that lived in Boston were being denied the right to have first class licenses that would enable African-American owners of businesses like hotels to have a liquor license as "They had been trying for over a year to get a hotel liquor license, but with all their attempts, they had been repeatedly refused'" adding, "The following committee were appointed to wait upon the police commission and lay before them the desires of the colored voters of Boston: Ex Representatives Andrew B. Lattimore, Julius C. Chappelle, Representative Robert T. Teamoh, and committeeman Willam L. Reed." [44]

False accusations and a speedy acquittal

In mid-January 1898, he was falsely accused by an African-American porter of buying stolen shoes, and was in early February 1898 acquitted.[45] His arrest was covered by many newspapers as Chappelle was known as a rising star of the Republican Party. His acquittal was also covered but did not receive as much attention. Afterward, Chappelle continued his speaking engagements. His speeches were featured under headlines until the late 1903.

Social gatherings[edit]

Julius Caesar Chappelle often accompanied by his wife, attended many social gatherings with wide-ranging appeals. According to a Cleveland Gazette 1886 report, Julius C. Chappelle was also the only African-American member of the "Massachusetts Club."[46]

Julius C. Chappelle and his wife attended the popular "6th Annual Ball of Headwaiters of Young's Hotel (Boston) " at Horticultural Hall in 1883. Among the invited guests that attended were Assistant United States Treasurer M.P. Kennard, Hon John D. Coy, Editor Smith of the Boston Leader with full staff of reporters, president and officers of the Waiter's Union; Office of Shaw Veterans, ..." [47]

The Massachusetts Club, a prestigious club, made Frederick Douglass an honorary member, and Julius C. Chappelle a member in 1886. Both accepted their Massachusetts Club membership at a gathering at the Young's Hotel (Boston). The speech made by Frederick Douglass was printed in the newspaper, and other speeches including by Representative Julius C. Chappelle mentioned. Massachusetts Club members attended including ex-governor William Claflin; president of the club, Lieut-gov. Oliver Ames, Hon. Alanson W. Beard, Gen. John L. Swift, Judge Adin Thayer, Mr. Joseph H. Walker (Massachusetts speaker), Hon. James N. Buffum of Lynn, Representative Julius C. Chappelle, Dr. Henry Blackwell, Mr. W. W. Doherty, Hon. J. Wesley Kimball, mayor of Newton; Professor B. F. Tweed, Hon. Edward L. Pierce, Mr. George A. O. Ernst, Hon. Robert O. Fuller, Hon. William Frost, Mr. John L. Whiting, Mr. Frederick N. Oxley, Mr. J. P. S. Churchill, Mr. W. B. Ladd, Hon. D. W. Gooch, Hon. W. E. Blunt, Mr. Edward F. Thayer, Hon. Jonathan Lane, Mr. E. D. Chamberlin, Hon. J. E. Fiske, Gen'l A. B. Underwood, Mrs. F. T. Morton, Mr. Robert Adams, Hon. Oakes Ames, Hon. F. M. Ameny, and Mr. George H. Quincy.[48]

The Boston Herald reported that in mid-August 1887, a social gathering at Salem Willows and that, "The Willows at Salem, that delightful Summer retreat managed in splendid style by Councilman Nelson P. Wentworth, was the scene of a brilliant gathering of nearly 100 ladies and gentlemen from Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea and different cities last Thursday the 11th. The whole thing was conceived by J. C. Chappelle, who, with his family, is spending the summer at the Hotel Wentworth. Councilman and Mrs. Wentworth had for a long time desired to have well-known Boston people visit the Willows and see for themselves what an attractive resort it is."

Chappelle presided over a meeting in 1889 with C. C. Pitts as secretary, concerning the education of southern African-Americans. The meeting was held in Boston's Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church and speakers included Rev. J. T. Jennifer, secretary of Wilberforce University; Reverend Joseph Cook, D.D; and Reverend Theodore Guild.[49]

Active in Lodge events, in 1889, Chappelle was on the St. John's Day Picnic "committee of arrangements" along with "Curtis J. Wright, chairman; Charles J. Lewis, G. W. Sharper, C.R. Flagg, J.H. Lotton, and C.S. Rowe, held at the Highland Lake grove by the Rising Sun Lodge 3F and A.M. Masons from Massachusetts, Rhode island, and Connecticut attended. There were several speakers including Lewis Hayden who had brought Chappelle into the Republican Party, Hon. Edward Garrison J. Walker, and Andrew R. Lattimore.[50]

Chappelle spoke at a memorial held for ex-governor Roger Wolcott (Massachusetts) and lawyer Edward G. Walker at the Kirk Literary Club in January 1901, according to The Boston Herald that had excerpts of Julius C. Chappelle's speech that included his referral to Wolcott as "the most democratic of aristocratic Boston" and that he had worked with him for a year while a Legislator.[51]

Later years[edit]

Julius C. Chappelle's wife Elizabeth "Eugenia" and his daughter named Lillian were alive when he died in 1904 in Boston. His funeral was said to be "one of the largest" seen in Boston in years, according to The Cleveland Gazette's front-page story on February 13, 1904. Chappelle was a leader of the Rising Sun Lodge, 3 F and A.M.; and past-grand secretary and a past leader of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. and A.M., (Prince Hall Freemasonry) in Massachusetts.[7] The Republican party was and still is also associated with black conservatism in the United States.

The Boston Daily Globe wrote in the 1904 obituary of Chappelle that "Julius Caesar Chappelle was a unique political character in the Republican party of the state. Outside of Lewis Hayden, John J. Smith, and Edward G. Walker, he was one of the best-known colored men in Massachusetts." [2]



  1. ^ a b "Hon. Julius Caesar Chappelle," The Cleveland Gazette, front page, December 25, 1886.
  2. ^ a b "Had Long Been Ill: Death of Ex-Representative Julius Caesar Chappelle, A Negro Well Known in Republican Politics." Boston Daily Globe, page 7, January 28, 1904.
  3. ^ a b "To be Given Three Terms," in "Political" column, Boston Journal, Friday Evening, October 11, 1889.
  4. ^ a b c d Obituary, "Julius C. Chappelle", The Cleveland Gazette, front page, February 13, 1904.
  5. ^ "Hon. Julius Caesar Chappelle", The Cleveland Gazette, front page, Saturday, December 25, 1886.
  6. ^ "slave registries," US Census, 1860, 1855.
  7. ^ a b Obituary, "Chappelle Ends Notable Career", The Boston Herald, p. 14, February 28, 1904.
  8. ^ "'Radical Members of the South Carolina Legislature,' Entered According to Act of Congress in the year 1868, by J.G. Gibbes, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of South Carolina.'" Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  9. ^ "The Klu-Klux. Proclamation by the President, Martial Law Declared in 9 Counties of South Carolina", New York Tribune, p. 5, October 18, 1871.
  10. ^ Death Notice "Mr. Lewis Chappelle Dead", The Freeman (An Illustrated Colored Newspaper) (Indianapolis, Indiana), February 18, 1905, page 5.
  11. ^ a b Florida Black Public Officials (Black Officials La Villa), 1867-1924, University of Alabama Press (1998)
  12. ^ "The Buckingham Theatre: Grand Opening of the Buckingham Last Night," The Morning Tribune (Tampa, Florida), December 24, 1901.
  13. ^ a b "Julius C. Chappelle," The New York Freeman, front page, November 13, 1886.
  14. ^ "Among Colored Republicans," The Sunday Herald, page 4, Sunday, October 24, 1886, Boston, Massachusetts.
  15. ^ "Julius C. Chappelle." New York Freeman, page 1, Saturday, November 13, 1886.
  16. ^ Hanes Walton, Jr., Donald R. Deskins, Jr., Sherman Puckett, The African-American Electorate, 1st edition. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., June 2012.
  17. ^ 'Black Legislators in the Massachusetts General Court 1867-Present,' State Library of Massachusetts: 2010
  18. ^ "Honor for Mr. Chappelle: West End Republicans at a Big Feast. Right Hand of the Politicians Extended to the Ex-Representative," Boston Daily Globe, page 5. Jan 23, 1892.
  19. ^ "Lovely Mugwump Girls: Omens of victory for the Democratic Ticket . . . ", "War on Beacon Hill" section, Boston Daily Globe, page 4, October 29, 1886.
  20. ^ "Boston Letter: A Budget of News," New York Globe, page 1, Saturday January 27, 1883.
  21. ^ a b Kazuteru Omori, “Race-Neutral Individualism and Resurgence of the Color Line: Massachusetts Civil Rights Legislation, 1855-1895,” Journal of American Ethnic History, pp. 32-58. Vol. 22, No. 1 (Fall, 2002). University of Illinois Press, on behalf of the Immigration & Ethnic History Society, accessed 19 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Even in Tophet: The Colored Citizen will Insist Upon His Rights Lively hearing on Chappelle's Civil Rights Bill. Things get mixed and fall back on Roller Skates."Boston Daily Globe, page 5, March 14, 1885.
  23. ^ a b Obituary, "Julius C. Chappelle," The Cleveland Gazette, front page. February 13, 1904.
  24. ^ New York Herald, page 4, Monday, September 8, 1884, New York.
  25. ^ The New York Age newspaper under the headline, "At the Cradle of Liberty: Enthusiastic Endorsement of the Elections Bill." It reported: in the August 9, 1890 issue
  26. ^ "Honor for Mr. Chappelle: West End Republicans at a Big Feast. Right Hand of the Politicians Extended to the Ex-Representative." Boston Daily Globe, page 5. Jan 23, 1892. Boston, M.A.
  27. ^ ""Time to strike out: Mr. Chappelle Asks the Members of the Fraternal Association Questions which Concern Them." Boston Daily Globe, page 5, January 7, 1892.
  28. ^ "Our Hub Letter," The New York Globe, front page. November 8, 1884
  29. ^ "Our Hub Letter," The New York Globe, front page. November 8, 1884.
  30. ^ "Fighting for a Couple of Seats: Chappelle Probably to be Counted In. Colonel Splaine gets a Recount." Boston Daily Globe, page 6, January 16, 1885.
  31. ^ ""Reform is necessary: Said Mr. Cross, but the House Heeded Him Not. Mr. Chappelle comes out ahead, and Mr. Prince Expresses his Views. A Confidential Message which was Confidential Indeed." Boston Daily Globe, page 5, Jan 17, 1885.
  32. ^ "A Sample of Meanness," the Boston Daily Globe, page 2, January 23, 1885.
  33. ^ "Another Week's Work: The General Court Finishes its Third Week," Boston Daily Globe, page 5, January 24, 1885.
  34. ^ "Men of Beacon Hill, Democrats Have 80 Representatives, a Gain of 15" Boston Daily Globe, page 2, November 7, 1885.
  35. ^ "Editorial Points." Boston Daily Globe, page 4, October 31, 1885.
  36. ^ a b "Among Colored Republicans," The Sunday Herald, page 4, Sunday, October 24, 1886, Boston, Massachusetts.
  37. ^ "A Prohib Broadsider: An Attack Made by the Party's Executive Committee," The Sunday Herald─Boston, page 13, October 18, 1891.
  38. ^ "Nominated a Negro [William O. Armstrong] on a State Prohibition Ticket," The Patriot, page 1, Thursday Morning, September 10, 1891, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania."
  39. ^ "Armstrong Chosen: Prohibition Candidate for State Auditor, 'Three Cheers for the First Black Man ever Put on a State Ticket,'" Boston Daily Advertiser, page 4, Thursday Morning, September 10, 1891.
  40. ^ "Armstrong men confident: But Mr. Chappelle is After Them with a Sharp Stick." Boston Daily Globe, page 5, October 25, 1891.
  41. ^ "To be Given Three Terms: Honorable Henry M. Sprague Renominated for Senate by Fifth District Republicans, and Mr. J. C. Chappelle reelected a State Committeeman," The Boston Journal, Friday Evening, October 11, 1889.
  42. ^ Political Points, 1891: The official Vote of the State of Massachusetts, published and compiled by M. J. Kiley, 7 Spring Lane, Boston, Massachusetts (Harvard College Library). E-book (page 43), book also in hardcover.
  43. ^ "They are Not a Bit Happy, Colored Republicans of this State Find Fault: Completely ignored by President Harrison--He was expected to make one or more appointments from this state--The Senators charged with lack of interest." The Boston Herald, page 3, Monday March 24, 1890.
  44. ^ "Want a First Class Show: Colored Men Say Police Board Refuse License on Ground of Color," Boston Daily Globe, page 4, August 15, 1895.
  45. ^ "Chappelle acquitted," The Boston Journal, page 10, Thursday, February 10, 1898.
  46. ^ Hon. Julius Caesar Chappelle," The Cleveland Gazette, front page, Saturday, December 25, 1886.
  47. ^ "Our Letter from the Hub", The New York Globe, front page. Saturday, April 28, 1883.
  48. ^ "The Campaign of 1888: Hon. Frederic Douglass Sounds the Keynote, The Nation Must Keep Faith with the Negro, Eloquent Speech before the Massachusetts Club." The Sunday Herald, Sunday, May 23, 1886.
  49. ^ "Make Self-Helping Negroes: Appeals for Educational Development of the Colored," Boston Daily Globe, page 5, February 13, 1889.
  50. ^ "St. John's Day Picnic, Rising Sun Lodge No 3 F and A.M. to have a Barbecue," Boston Daily Globe, page 3, June 9, 1889.
  51. ^ "Colored Race in Mourning, Death of Wolcott and Walker Sincerely Deplored", The Boston Herald, page 9. Tuesday, January 22, 1901.


  • "Julius C. Chappelle", The New York Freeman, front page, November 13, 1886.
  • "At the Cradle of Liberty", The New York Age, front page, August 9, 1890.
  • "The Early Boston Martyrs: Lessons from the Life and Works of Crispus Attucks", The Boston Herald, p. 3, Thursday, November 15, 1888.
  • "KU-KLUX KLAN.: A Sunday Morning Road (Raid) by the Klan in South Carolina.", Chicago Tribune, p. 2, June 7, 1871.
  • "THE SOUTH CAROLINA KUKLUX.: The Cold-Blooded Murder of the Wounded ..." New York Times, page 2, June 3, 1871.
  • Florida Black Public Officials (Black Officials La Villa), 1867–1924, University of Alabama Press (1998).
  • Death Notice, "Mr. Lewis Chappelle Dead", The Freeman (An Illustrated Colored Newspaper), p. 5, February 18, 1905. Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Rabbit's Foot Comedy Company advertisement [bottom of p. 5], The Freeman (An Illustrated Colored Newspaper), February 18, 1905. Indianapolis, Indiana.