Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hiram Revels

In 1870, Hiram R. Revels became the 1st African American US Senator (which also made him the first African American in the US Congress). He is one of only six African Americans to have served in the Senate.

Hiram Revels
(Google Image)

Facts about Hiram:

  • He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1822 to a dad of white and black ancestry, and a mom of Scottish heritage.

  • He was ordained as a minister in 1845 and was imprisoned in 1854 for "preaching the gospel to Negroes".

  • He established private schools in Maryland and Mississippi.

  • His election was met with opposition by the Southern Conservative Democrats; they argued that no black man was a citizen, but Revels supporters refuted the argument stating that only applied to blacks who were of pure African blood and since he was of mixed ancestry that did not apply. Revels was elected by a vote of 48 to 8 (the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 granting citizenship to ALL persons born or naturalized in the US)

  • His term lasted one year during which he fervently fought for equality.

  • He died in January 1901 while attending a church conference.

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