Blanche Kelso Bruce

In 1880, Senator Blanche Kelso Bruce received eight votes for the vice-presidential nomination. And, again, in 1888, although no longer serving in Congress, he received votes for vice-president at that year’s Republican Party convention.

 

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Blanche Kelso Bruce’s wife, ‘America’s first black socialite‘, Josephine Beall Willson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BKB’s brother, Henry Clay Bruce, author of a controversial slave narrative, ‘The New Man’

 

 

The New Man.

Twenty-Nine Years a Slave.
Twenty-Nine Years a Free Man:
Electronic Edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NatNegroConv1879

The National Negro Convention, a group of 38 free African-Americans from eight states, met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the express purpose of abolishing slavery and improving the social status of African-Americans. They elected Richard Allen president and agreed to boycott slave-produced goods and encourage free-produce organizations. The most active would be the Colored Females’ Free Produce Society, which sought to overthrow the economic power of slavery one bolt of cotton and teaspoon of sugar at a time.

 

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P.B.S. Pinchback        John R. Lynch         Charles Banks

 

Hampton Institute student teaching a freed couple to read circa 1880.

Hampton Institute student teaching a freed couple to read circa 1880.

John Mercer Langston was a contemporary of Blanche Kelso Bruce. Mercer was Virginia’s first African-American congressman, serving one term from 1879 to 1881. Born a free man in Louisa County, he was a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio before becoming president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (1885), which is today known as Virginia State University.

John Mercer Langston was a contemporary of Blanche Kelso Bruce.
Mercer was Virginia’s first African-American congressman, serving one term from 1879 to 1881. Born a free man in Louisa County, he was a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, before becoming president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (1885), which is today known as Virginia State University.

 

 

Maggie Lena Walker

Maggie Lena Walker

 

Maggie Lena Walker (1867-1934) was the first woman in the United States to become a president of a local bank. Born July 15, 1867 in Richmond, Virginia, she was a daughter of former slaves, Elizabeth Draper Mitchell and William Mitchell, who worked for the abolitionist Elizabeth Van Lew.

Staff from the Penny Savings Bank

Staff from the Penny Savings Bank

In 1903, primarily to facilitate loans to the community, she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and became its president. By1920, thrift had enabled 600 depositors to take out mortgages with the bank. And, by 1924, the Independent Order of St. Luke had 50,000 members; 1500 local chapters; 50 members of staff working in its Richmond headquarters; and assets totalling almost $400,000. Five years later, the Penny Savings Bank had absorbed all the other black-owned banks in Richmond. Renamed the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, Walker remained at the helm and sat on its board as chairman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress, document the activities of the noted abolitionist, writer and publisher. Included within this collection are copies of Douglass’s writings, correspondence with noted abolitionists including Henry Ward Beecher, Ida B. Wells, Gerrit Smith, and Horace Greeley, and scrapbooks documenting his activities. Also included is a biography of his wife of forty-four years, Anna Murray Douglass, written by their daughter, Rosetta Douglass Sprague.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

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