Thomas Fuller (1710–1790)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Thomas Fuller, often called “the Virginia Calculator,” was born in 1710, somewhere between the “Slave Coast” of West Africa (present-day Liberia) and the Kingdom of Dahomey (modern-day Benin).  When the pre-colonial scramble for slaves replaced the earlier trade in gold, Fuller … Read MoreThomas Fuller (1710–1790)

Elizabeth A. Parkhill Gloucester (1817-1883)

Elizabeth A. Parkhill Gloucester, the wife of the Rev. Dr. James Gloucester, was an abolitionist, a supporter of the Underground Railroad, business owner, and considered one of the wealthiest women of her race at the time of her death in 1883. Born in Virginia to … Read MoreElizabeth A. Parkhill Gloucester (1817-1883)

Henrietta S. Bowers Duterte (1817-1903)

Henrietta Smith Bowers Duterte (pronounced Dew-tier), the first female undertaker in the nation, was born free in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was one of 13 children born to John Bowers and Henrietta Smith Bowers in July 1817. The Bowers family was originally from Baltimore, Maryland but … Read MoreHenrietta S. Bowers Duterte (1817-1903)

Henry “Box” Brown (1816-1889)

Image Ownership: Public Domain To escape enslavement on a plantation near Richmond, Virginia, Henry “Box” Brown in 1849 exploited maritime elements of the Underground Railroad.  Brown’s moniker “Box” was a result of his squeezing himself into a box and having himself shipped 250 miles from … Read MoreHenry “Box” Brown (1816-1889)

Kansas Emancipation League (1862)

Image Ownership: Public Domain The Kansas Emancipation League’s primary goal was “to bring about emancipation throughout the whole land.” It was initiated at the First Baptist Church in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1862. It also pledged to “support the war until its successful termination,” put an … Read MoreKansas Emancipation League (1862)

Francis Johnson [Frank J.] Webb (1828-1894)

Francis Johnson Webb, newspaper editor, educator, equal rights activist, and the second published African American novelist, was born free on March 21, 1828, in Philadelphia to Louisa Burr and Francis Webb.  His mother, Louisa Charlotte Burr (c1785-1878), was the illegitimate daughter of former vice president … Read MoreFrancis Johnson [Frank J.] Webb (1828-1894)