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Hiram Revels

A brief article about Hiram Revels, the first African American member of the U.S. Senate.
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Hiram Revels
By J. Hoover.
Heroes of the Colored Race.
Philadelphia, 1881.
Color lithograph with portraits of Blanche Kelso Bruce, Frederick Douglass, and Hiram Revels (on right).From the Library of Congress' African American Odyssey.
1822-1901
Clergyman, Educator, Politician
Birthplace: Fayetteville, NC
Graduate of Knox College, 1845
In 1845, Hiram Revels became a pastor in Baltimore, MD, and principal of a school for blacks. He helped organize black volunteers for service in the Union Army (1861). Then he joined federal forces and was stationed in Mississippi to serve as chaplain to a black regiment (1863). After the war, Revels preached in Mississippi. He was appointed alderman by the military governor (1868) and was later elected to the state senate (1869). As a state senator, he sought to restore voting rights and the right to hold office of former confederates. In 1870, he was the first African American elected to the U.S. senate to fill the term of Jefferson Davis. As a U.S. senator, he advocated for desegregation in education and on the railroads. After being a senator, he became president of – and retired as president of – Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Mississippi.

Black History Month Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans
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