55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (1863-1865)

The 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was a volunteer regiment made up of men who wanted to enter the already full 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The 54th was the first officially recognized black military unit in the … Read More55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (1863-1865)

Jean-Baptiste Belley-Mars (ca. 1747-ca. 1805)

Jean-Baptiste Belley-Mars, who represented Saint-Domingue in the French National Convention in Paris in 1794, is widely credited with persuading that body to abolish slavery in France and its overseas colonies. Belley-Mars as a boy was kidnapped by slave catchers on the island of Goree near … Read MoreJean-Baptiste Belley-Mars (ca. 1747-ca. 1805)

Louisa Matilda Jacobs (1833-1917)

Louisa “Lulu” Matilda Jacobs, teacher, equal rights activist, and entrepreneur, was born a slave in Edenton, North Carolina, on October 19, 1833. She was the daughter of congressman and newspaper editor Samuel Tredwell Sawyer and his mixed-race enslaved mistress Harriet Jacobs. Louisa Jacobs was educated … Read MoreLouisa Matilda Jacobs (1833-1917)

Thomas Fuller (1710-1790)

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 was snatched from his … Read MoreThomas Fuller (1710-1790)

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)