Octavius Valentine Catto (1839–1871)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Octavius Valentine Catto was a prominent Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, activist, scholar, athlete, and military officer in the National Guard during the Civil War. Catto was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 22, 1839. His mother, Sarah Isabella Cain, a free woman, … Read MoreOctavius Valentine Catto (1839–1871)

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)

First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, Nashville, Tennessee (1835- )

First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill lays claim to the designation as the oldest continuously operating African American church in Tennessee because it traces its origin back to First Baptist Colored Mission which first met to hold prayer services in 1835.  Up to that point Nashville’s … Read MoreFirst Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, Nashville, Tennessee (1835- )

Louise Celia “Lulu” Fleming (1862-1899)

Louise Cecelia Fleming, the first African American to graduate from the Women’s Medical College at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was born January 28, 1862 to slave parents on a plantation near Hibernia in Clay County, Florida.  Her father is unknown; she was raised by her mother who … Read MoreLouise Celia “Lulu” Fleming (1862-1899)