Black History 365 #9 – The first Black people to… establish an African Episcopal church

9--AAM_parchment_photo1829

African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas

9b--Absalom-Jones_Peale

Absalom Jones

Every day I will explore the obvious (and not so obvious) parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

Today we have a two-for-one. We will look at African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas and  Absalom Jones:

1794:  First African Episcopal Church established: Absalom Jones founded African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1804:  First African American ordained as an Episcopal priest in the U.S.: Absalom Jones in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas was founded in 1792 in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, as the first black Episcopal Church in the United States. It developed from the Free African Society, a non-denominational group formed by blacks who left St. George’s Methodist Church because of discrimination. Led by Absalom Jones, a free black and lay Methodist preacher who became ordained in 1804 as a priest in the Episcopal Church, the Church became one of the major features in Philadelphia’s black cultural life.

Absalom Jones (1746 – February 13, 1818) was an African-American abolitionist and clergyman. After finding a black congregation in 1794, he was the first African American ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church of the United States, in 1804. He is listed on the Episcopal calendar of saints and blessed under the date of his death, February 13, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as “Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818”.

The Church became the first black church in the country to purchase a pipe organ, and then the first to hire a black woman as organist, Ann Appo.

While the congregation has worshiped in several different buildings, it has remained continuously active since its founding. The original building, dedicated on July 17, 1794 at Fifth and Adelphi Streets, is under the passageway/plaza now known as St. James Place. The congregation is now located at the intersection of Overbrook and Lancaster Avenues in Philadelphia’s Overbrook Farms neighborhood. Other locations included Twelfth Street below Walnut Street, 57th and Pearl Streets, and 52nd and Parrish Streets. Clergy and parishioners were active in abolitionism and the Underground Railroad in the 19th century and in the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Black History 365 #7 – The first Black people to participate in the Back-to-Africa movement

7--sierra_leone--Freetown

This drawing is actually of Freetown in Sierra Leone since I couldn’t find any of Settler Town.

Every day I will explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

Today it’s Settler Town:

1792:  First major African-American Back-to-Africa movement: 1,200 Black Loyalist slaves who escaped to settle in Settler Town, Sierra Leone

Settler Town, Sierra Leone or Settler Tong in Krio is the oldest part of Freetown, Sierra Leone and was the home of the Nova Scotian Settlers Settlers were African American ex-slaves (who immigrated to Sierra Leone and established the first permanent free African American settlement in Africa). During the nineteenth century, Settler Town was a prestigious residential area, due to the fact it was the original portion of Freetown, Sierra Leone, having been established on March 11, 1792.

 

Black History 365 #6 – The first Black person to… practice medicine in the United States

 

Inscription: "First regularly-educated Colored Physician in the United States."

Inscription: “First regularly-educated Colored Physician in the United States.”

 

Every day I will explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

This time is a 3-for-1 with a medical theme:

1783 – First African American to formally practice medicine in the U.S.: James Derham, who did not hold an M.D. degree

1837 – First formally trained African-American doctor: Dr. James McCune Smith from the University of Glasgow, Scotland

1847 – First African American to graduate from a U.S. medical school: Dr. David J. Peck (Rush Medical College)

~*~

James Derham

Derham was born into slavery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was owned by several doctors, and one of his owners, a physician named Dr. Bob Love, encouraged him to go into medicine. By working as a nurse, he purchased his freedom by 1790. He opened a medical practice, and by the age of 20 his annual earnings exceeded $3,000.

Derham met with Dr. Benjamin Rush, the father of American medicine, and Rush was so impressed by Derham that he encouraged him to move to Philadelphia. There he became an expert in throat diseases and in the relationship between climate and disease.

He also had 10 siblings. Derham disappeared after 1801 and died of a heart attack.

~*~

Dr. James McCune Smith

James McCune Smith (April 18, 1813 – November 17, 1865) was an American physicianapothecaryabolitionist, and author. He is the first African American to hold a medical degree and graduated at the top in his class at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He was the first African American to run a pharmacy in the United States.

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Dr. David J. Peck

David Jones Peck (c. 1826-1855) was an American physician. He was the first African American to receive a Doctor of Medicine from an American medical school.

Peck was born to John Peck[disambiguation needed], one of the most prominent abolitionists, ministers, and businessmen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From about 1844 to 1846, Peck studied medicine under Dr. Joseph P. Gazzam, a white anti-slavery physician. After his two years of study with Gazzam, Peck entered Rush Medical CollegeChicago in autumn 1846, and graduated in 1847. During the summer after graduation, Peck toured the state of Ohio with William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.

He set up a medical practice in Philadelphia in 1848. He married Mary Lewis in Chicago, IL in 1849. When his medical practice in Philadelphia proved unsuccessful, he returned to Pittsburgh in 1850.

At the suggestion of Martin R. Delany, Peck moved to San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua in early 1852. No photographs of Dr. Peck are known to be in existence.

Peck was killed in the spring of 1855 in a skirmish between Democratic forces and their Republican rivals at Jalteva, Nicaragua (near Granada). The latter forces had been deposed after an election in 1854. Dr. Peck’s death is recollected by Charles W. Doubleday in Chapter 4 of his “Reminiscences of the ‘filibuster’ War in Nicaragua. Peck died as the result of concussion injuries sustained when a Republican cannonier fired on the position from which Doubleday and Peck had been observing their activities.

Black History 365 #5 – The first Back people to… be part of a military regiment

American_Foot_Soldiers

 

Every day I will explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

For today’s entry:

1778
First African-American U.S. military regiment: the 1st Rhode Island Regiment

The 1st Rhode Island Regiment was a Continental Army regiment from Rhode Island during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). Like most regiments of the Continental Army, the unit went through several incarnations and name changes. It became well known as the “Black Regiment” because, for a time, it had several companies of African American soldiers. It is regarded as the first African-American military regiment, albeit with the misconception that its ranks were exclusively African-American.

Black History 365 #4 – The first Black people to… Have a settlement as free persons before emancipation

Fort_Mose

Every day I will explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

For today’s entry:

1738
First free African-American community: Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (now usually referred to as Fort Mose)

Fort Mose Historic State Park (originally known as Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mosé) is a U.S. National Historic Landmark (designated as such on October 12, 1994),[2] located two miles north of St. Augustine, Florida, on the eastern edge of a marsh. The original site of the fort was uncovered in a 1986 archeological dig. The 24-acre (9.7 ha) site is now a Florida State Park, administered through the Anastasia State Recreation Area. Fort Mose was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994 and is the “premier site on the Florida Black Heritage Trail.”[3] The fort has also been known as Fort Moosa or Fort Mossa.
Fort Mose (pronounced “Moh-say”) was the first free black settlement legally sanctioned in what would become the United States.[4] The community began when Florida was a Spanish territory.

Black History 365 #3 – The first Black people to… form a Black Christian congregation

 

 

This image is from an old pamphlet written by white historians in the 1800s so I'm not sure if this is really Silver Bluff Baptist or not.

This image is from an old pamphlet written by white historians in the 1800s so I’m not sure if this is really Silver Bluff Baptist or not.

 

 

Every day I will explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

For my fourth entry this month:

1773
First separate African-American church: Silver Bluff Baptist Church, Aiken County, South Carolina

The Silver Bluff Baptist Church in Aiken County, South Carolina, was founded by several enslaved African Americans who organized under elder David George in 1773-1775.

The historian Albert Raboteau has identified it as the first separate black congregation in the nation, although others contend for that distinction. After the British occupied Savannah in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War, George and his congregation of 30 slaves went to the city for freedom behind their lines. The British had promised freedom to slaves who escaped from rebel masters. Those members who stayed in Savannah after the end of the American Revolutionary War evolved into the First African Baptist Church.

George was highly influential in the early black Baptist movement. Resettling with his family and Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia, he founded a congregation there. George also founded a congregation and Baptist church in FreetownSierra Leone, where he and his family migrated in 1792.

Black History 365 #2 – The first Black woman to… be a published author

Every day I will explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than being stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

For today’s entry:

1773
First known African-American woman to publish a book: Phillis Wheatley (Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral)

Phillis Wheatley (May 8, 1753 – December 5, 1784) was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman. Born in Senegambia, she was sold into slavery at the age of 7 and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.

The publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) brought her fame both in England and the American colonies; figures such as George Washington praised her work. During Wheatley’s visit to England with her master’s son, the African-American poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in his own poem. Wheatley was emancipated after the death of her master John Wheatley. She married soon after. Two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness, quickly followed by the death of her surviving infant son.