Scipio Africanus Jones (1863-1943)

Scipio Africanus Jones was a prominent Arkansas African American defense attorney in the late 19th and early 20th century.  He opposed Arkansas’s Jim Crow laws and successfully argued cases before the United States Supreme Court between 1913 and 1925.  Known for his pro bono work for impoverished African American defendants, Jones … Read MoreScipio Africanus Jones (1863-1943)

Stono Rebellion (1739)

On Sunday, September 9th, 1739 the British colony of South Carolina was shaken by a slave uprising that culminated with the death of sixty people. Led by an Angolan named Jemmy, a band of twenty slaves organized a rebellion on the banks of the Stono River. After breaking into Hutchinson’s store the band, … Read MoreStono Rebellion (1739)

Millie Ringold (1845-1906)

Millie Ringold was a gold prospector, boarding house proprietor, and long-time resident of the Yogo mining district in the Little Belt Mountains of central Montana. According to the 1900 census, Millie Ringold—whose names are variously spelled Molly, Ringo, and Ringgold—was born a slave in 1845 in Virginia. By the 1870s she … Read MoreMillie Ringold (1845-1906)

William Johnson Jr. (1809-1851)

William Johnson, known as the Barber of Natchez, was one of the most prominent African Americans in pre-Civil War Mississippi.  Johnson was born enslaved on December 20, 1809, in Mississippi Territory. His father, also named William Johnson, was his owner, and his mother Amy was one of the … Read MoreWilliam Johnson Jr. (1809-1851)

Eulalie de Mandeville (1774-1848)

Eulalie de Mandeville was born in 1774 in New Orleans, Louisiana, from the alliance between the prosperous French nobleman, Pierre Philippe Mandeville de Marigny, and one of his slaves, Marie-Jeanne. Eulalie was freed by her paternal grandparents in 1779 and was raised by them. As a member of a … Read MoreEulalie de Mandeville (1774-1848)

Ona “Oney” Judge (1773-1848)

As a former slave in George Washington’s household, Ona “Oney” Judge is best remembered for her escape to New Hampshire. Born at Mount Vernon, the Washingtons’ Virginia plantation, around 1773 (exact date not known) to an indentured servant named Andrew Judge and a slave name Betty, Ona “Oney” … Read MoreOna “Oney” Judge (1773-1848)

John P. Parker (1827-1900)

John Parker, inventor and businessman, was also a prominent Underground Railroad conductor before the Civil War.  He was reputedly responsible for the rescue of nearly 1,000 enslaved people between 1845 and 1865.  Parker repeatedly crossed the Ohio River from his home in Ripley, Ohio, often going as far as 20 miles on foot into Kentucky to … Read MoreJohn P. Parker (1827-1900)

Andrew Jackson Smith (1843-1932)

Andrew Jackson Smith was the last black Civil War soldier to receive a Medal of Honor. Smith was born on September 3, 1843, into slavery to Susan, an enslaved African American woman, and her white owner, Elijah Smith, in Lyon County, Kentucky. When his father enlisted in the Confederate army, … Read MoreAndrew Jackson Smith (1843-1932)

Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)

Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history known as the Haitian Revolution. Born into slavery on May 20, 1743 in the French colony of Saint Dominque, L’Ouverture was the eldest son of Gaou Guinon, an African prince who … Read MoreToussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803)