Richard H. Cain
Richard Harvey Cain
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina's At-large Congressional District|
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875
|Preceded by||District created|
|Succeeded by||District eliminated|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from South Carolina's 2nd district
March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1879
|Preceded by||Charles W. Buttz|
|Succeeded by||Michael P. O'Connor|
|Member of the South Carolina Senate from Charleston County|
November 24, 1868 – March 1, 1870
April 12, 1825|
Greenbrier County, Virginia
January 18, 1887 (aged 61)|
Richard Harvey Cain (April 12, 1825 – January 18, 1887) was a minister, abolitionist, and United States Representative from South Carolina from 1873–1875 and 1877-1879. After the Civil War, he was appointed by Bishop Daniel Payne as a missionary of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
Early life and education
Richard Harvey Cain was born to a black father and a Cherokee mother in Greenbrier County Virginia, which is now in West Virginia. He was raised in Gallipolis, Ohio, a free state where he was allowed to read and write. He attended Wilberforce University and attended divinity school in Hannibal, Missouri. The American Civil War broke out while he was at Wilberforce. He later claimed that he and 115 students from the mostly black University attempted to enlist in the Union Army but were refused.
Cain worked as a barber in Galena, Illinois and worked on steamboats along the Ohio River before he migrated south.
He had been licensed to preach for the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1844. His first assignment was in Hannibal, Missouri. In 1848, frustrated by the segregationist policies of the Methodists, he joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church, an independent black denomination started in Philadelphia. By 1859 he became a deacon in Muscatine, Iowa. In 1861, Cain was called as a pastor at the Bridge Street Church in Brooklyn, New York. In 1862, he was ordained as an elder in 1862 and remained at the Brooklyn church until 1865.
After the Civil War, Cain moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1865 as superintendent of AME missions and presided over the Emmanuel Church in that city. The AME Church attracted tens of thousands of converts to its denomination very rapidly.
Cain became active in politics, serving as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1868. He represented Charleston County in the South Carolina Senate from 1868 to 1872. He also edited the South Carolina Leader newspaper (later renamed the Missionary Record). As editor, he hired future congressmen Robert B. Elliott, and Alonzo Ransier.
He was elected as a Republican to the Forty-third United States Congress in a newly created at-large district. He was on the Committee on Agriculture, but focused more on the civil rights bill which eventually passed in diluted form in 1875. He gave noted speeches on the bill in January 1873. He did not run for re-election in 1874 after redistricting, but ran for the 2nd district in 1876. He was elected to the Forty-fifth United States Congress.
In 1877, while advocating in congress for mail service to West African Colonies, Cain became a member of the Liberian Exodus Joint Stock Steamship Company. In 1880 Cain was elected and consecrated a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; he served the episcopal district which comprised Louisiana and Texas. He helped found Paul Quinn College and served as its president until 1884.
Cain then moved to Washington DC where he served as AME bishop over the Mid-Atlantic and New England States. He died in Washington on January 18, 1887 and was buried in Graceland Cemetery there, but may have been removed to Woodlawn Cemetery (Washington, D.C.) about a decade later, when Graceland closed and many of its interments were reburied in Woodlawn.
- "CAIN, Richard Harvey". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- Edgar, Walter. South Carolina Encyclopedia (2006) pp. 119-120, University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, ISBN 1-57003-598-9.
- Bailey, N. Louise, Morgan, Mary L., and Taylor, Carolyn R. Biographical Directory of the South Carolina Senate: 1776-1985, v. I, pp. 246-248, 1986, University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina, ISBN 0-87249-479-9.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's at-large congressional seat
Charles W. Buttz
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 2nd congressional district
Michael P. O'Connor
| President of Paul Quinn College