List of African-American officeholders during Reconstruction

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First African American Senator and Representatives: Sen. Hiram Revels (R-MS), Rep. Benjamin S. Turner (R-AL), Robert DeLarge (R-SC), Josiah Walls (R-FL), Jefferson Long (R-GA), Joseph Rainey and Robert B. Elliott (R-SC)

Many scholars have identified more than 1,500 African American officeholders during the Reconstruction Era (1863–1877). Historian Canter Brown, Jr. noted that in some states, such as Florida, the highest number of African Americans were elected or appointed to offices after 1876 and the end of Reconstruction. The following is a partial list some of the most notable of the officeholders pre-1900.

Federal Office[edit]

Senate[edit]

House[edit]

State Office[edit]

Alabama[edit]

Arkansas[edit]

  • Joseph Carter Corbin, chief clerk of the Little Rock Post Office (1872), state superintendent of public schools (1873-1875)
  • William Henry Grey, Arkansas Constitutional Convention (1868), Arkansas House (1868-1869), Arkansas Senate (1875)
  • James T. White, Arkansas House of Representatives, Arkansas Senate

Florida[edit]

Georgia[edit]

Louisiana[edit]

Massachusetts[edit]

Michigan[edit]

Mississippi[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

  • Israel Abbott, member of the North Carolina House of Representatives (1872-1874)[2]
  • John O. Crosby, 1875 delegate from Warren County, North Carolina to the North Carolina State Constitutional Convention[3]
  • James Walker Hood, commissioner for the states public schools and assistant superintendent of public instruction in North Carolina (1868-1871)[4]
  • John S. Leary, North Carolina State legislature (1868-1871), alderman in Fayetteville, North Carolina (1876-1877)

South Carolina[edit]

Tennessee[edit]

Texas[edit]

Virginia[edit]

Washington, D.C.[edit]

  • Solomon G. Brown, House of Delegates for Washington D.C. (1871-1874), employee at the Smithsonian[6]
  • John Mercer Langston, appointed member of the Board of Health of the District of Columbia
  • John H. Smythe, 1872, clerk in the U.S. Census Bureau, clerk in the Treasury department, 1878 ambassador to Liberia

Local Office[edit]

Arkansas[edit]

Colorado[edit]

Louisiana[edit]

Maryland[edit]

  • William H. Day Baltimore Inspector of Schools, in 1878 he was elected to the school board of directors at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Massachusetts[edit]

Nebraska[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

  • John Hudson Riddick, city council of Norfolk and appointed United States deputy marshal, 1872

Ohio[edit]

  • Jeremiah A. Brown, Cleveland, bailiff of the county probate court, deputy sheriff and county prison turnkey, then clerk of the City Boards of Equalization and Revision.[7]
  • Robert James Harlan, mail agent

South Carolina[edit]

Virginia[edit]

  • P. H. A. Braxton, constable in King William County in 1872, collector at the United States Custom House in Westmoreland County

Washington, D.C.[edit]

  • William E. Matthews, clerk in the United States Postal Service in Washington D.C. in 1870, the first black person to receive an appointment in that department[8]
  • Josiah T. Settle, reading clerk of the Washington, D.C. House of Delegates (1872), clerk in the Board of Public Works, as an accountant in the Board of Audits, and as a trustee of the county schools for the district

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Simmons, William J., and Henry McNeal Turner. Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising. GM Rewell & Company, 1887. p390-393
  2. ^ Foner, Eric (1996-08-01). Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders During Reconstruction. LSU Press. ISBN 9780807120828. 
  3. ^ Simmons, William J., and Henry McNeal Turner. Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising. GM Rewell & Company, 1887. p422-425
  4. ^ Simmons, William J., and Henry McNeal Turner. Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising. GM Rewell & Company, 1887. p133-143
  5. ^ Simmons, William J., and Henry McNeal Turner. Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising. GM Rewell & Company, 1887. p327-335
  6. ^ Simmons, William J., and Henry McNeal Turner. Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising. GM Rewell & Company, 1887. p291-295
  7. ^ Simmons, William J., and Henry McNeal Turner. Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising. GM Rewell & Company, 1887. p113-117
  8. ^ Simmons, William J., and Henry McNeal Turner. Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising. GM Rewell & Company, 1887. p246-251

Further reading[edit]

  • A Brief Biography of John Willis Menard from Southern University's John B. Cade Library
  • Bailey, Richard. Black Officeholders During the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878 (Pyramid Publishing) Available from author.
  • Bailey, Richard. Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags: Black Officeholders During the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878. Montgomery: Richard Bailey Publishers, 1995.
  • Canter Brown, Jr. Florida's Black Public Officials, 1867-1924. Tuscaloosa and London: The University of Alabama Press, 1998.
  • Eric Foner ed., Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders During Reconstruction Revised Edition. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996). ISBN 0-8071-2082-0. Between 1865 and 1877, about two thousand blacks held elective and appointive offices in the South. A few are relatively well-known, but most have been obscure and omitted from official state histories. Foner profiles more than 1,500 black legislators, state officials, sheriffs, justices of the peace, and constables in this volume.
  • John Hope Franklin "John Roy Lynch: Republican Stalwart from Mississippi" in Howard Rabinowitz (ed.), Southern Black Leaders of the Reconstruction Era, (Urbana: 1982) and reprinted in John Hope Franklin, Race and History: Selected Essays, 1938-1988, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989
  • Mifflin Wistar Gibbs Shadow and Light: An Autobiography Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century, Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
  • Rabinowitz, Howard N. Southern Black Leaders of the Reconstruction Era (University of Illinois Press: 1982)[1] Section on "Congressmen" includes profiles of "John R. Lynch: Republican Stalwart from Mississippi" by John Hope Franklin, "James T. Rapier of Alabama and the Noble Cause of Reconstruction" by Loren Schweninger, and "James O'Hara of North Carolina: Black Leadership and Local Government" by Eric Anderson.

External links[edit]