Revels, Hiram R.

First African-American US Senator/Member of Congress

Price: $295.00

Description:
(1827-1901) First person of color to serve in the US Senate and in the Congress overall, representing Mississippi 1870-71 during Reconstruction. Born a free man in North Carolina, attended Union County Quaker Seminary in Indiana. In 1845 Revels was ordained a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME); he served as a preacher and religious teacher throughout the Midwest. He became a Baltimore minister, also serving as a principal for a Black high school. As a chaplain in the US Army, Revels helped recruit and organize 2 Black Union regiments during the Civil War and took part at the battle of Vicksburg. In 1865, he left the AME Church, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was assigned briefly to churches in Leavenworth, Kansas, and New Orleans. In 1866, he was given a pastorship in Natchez, became an elder in the Mississippi District, continued ministerial work, and founded schools for Black children. He was elected Natchez alderman in 1868and in 1869 was elected to the Mississippi State Senate. In 1870 Revels was elected by a State Senate vote of 81-15 to finish the term of one of the state's seats in the US Senate, vacant since the Civil War. When he arrived in Washington, Southern Democrats opposed seating him in the Senate. For 2 days of debate, Senate galleries were packed with spectators at this historic event. On February 25, 1870, Revels, on a strict party-line 48-8 vote, became the first African American to be seated in the US Senate. He advocated compromise and moderation. He served on both the Committee of Education and Labor and the Committee on the District of Columbia. Revels argued for amnesty for ex-Confederates and a restoration of full citizenship, provided they swore an oath of loyalty to the United States. He quietly, persistently (although for the most part unsuccessfully) worked for equality, successfully championing Black workers barred by their color from working at the Washington Navy Yard. The northern press praised Revels for his oratorical abilities. He supported bills to invest in developing infrastructure in Mississippi: to grant lands and right of way to aid construction of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad and levees on the Mississippi River and argued for integration of schools in the District of Columbia. He resigned 2 months before his term expired to accept appointment as 1st president of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Alcorn State University), in Claiborne County, Mississippi. In 1873, he took a leave of absence to serve as Mississippi's secretary of state ad interim. He was dismissed from Alcorn in 1874 when he campaigned against reelection of carpetbag Governor Adelbert Ames, was reappointed in 1876 by the new Democratic administration and served until his retirement in 1882. He remained active as a Methodist Episcopal minister served as editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate, newspaper of the Methodist Church, and taught theology at Shaw College (now Rust College), a historically Black college founded in 1866 in Holly Springs. 1 x 5 portion of an autograph album page signed while Mississippi US Senator, undated but ca. 1870-71. Uncommon autograph!

Condition: Very good
Type:Signature






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search