William Alexander Leidesdorff (1810-1848)

Although little remembered today, Leidesdorff was a social, economic and political force in pre-gold rush San Francisco, California with a number of “firsts” credited to his name. When he was named the U.S. Vice Consul to Mexico in 1845, he became the nation’s first African … Read MoreWilliam Alexander Leidesdorff (1810-1848)

Matthew Oliver Ricketts (1853-1917)

Dr. Matthew Oliver Ricketts was the generally acknowledged political leader of Omaha’s African Americans at the turn of the 20th century.  Ricketts was born to an enslaved couple near New Castle, Kentucky in 1858.  He later received a degree from Lincoln Institute at Jefferson City, … Read MoreMatthew Oliver Ricketts (1853-1917)

Henry Berry Lowry (ca. 1846-1872)

In 1853, the Lumbee Indians, a triracial people who are descendants of several southeastern Indian tribes, whites, and African Americans, named themselves after the Lumber River, which flows through their homeland in North Carolina.  According to the Lumbee historian Adolph Dial, they are also descended … Read MoreHenry Berry Lowry (ca. 1846-1872)