REVELS, Hiram Rhodes, a Senator from
Mississippi; born in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, N.C., on September 27,
1827; attended various schools and seminaries and Knox College, Galesburg, Ill.;
barber; ordained a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church at
Baltimore, Md., in 1845; carried on religious work in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas,
Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri; accepted a pastorate in Baltimore, Md., in
1860; at the outbreak of the Civil War assisted in recruiting two regiments of
African American troops in Maryland; served in Vicksburg, Miss., as chaplain of
a Negro regiment and organized African American churches in that State;
established a school for freedmen in St. Louis, Mo., in 1863; settled in
Natchez, Miss., in 1866; elected alderman in 1868; member, State senate 1870;
upon the readmission of Mississippi to representation was elected as a
Republican to the United States Senate and served from February 23, 1870, to
March 3, 1871; first African American Senator; secretary of State ad interim of
Mississippi in 1873; president of the Alcorn Agricultural College, Rodney,
Miss., 1876-1882; moved to Holly Springs, Marshall County, Miss., and continued
his religious work; died in Aberdeen, Miss., January 16, 1901; interment in Hill
Crest Cemetery, Holly Springs, Miss.
American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography;
Libby, Billy W. “Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi Takes His Seat,
January-February, 1870.” Journal of Mississippi History 37 (November
1975): 381-94; Thompson, Julius. Hiram R. Revels, 1827-1901: A Biography.
New York: Arno Press, 1982.
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