The only African American in congress in 1889, Henry Plummer Cheatham was born on December 27, 1857 near Henderson, NC. As a Republican, Cheatham defeated Furnifold M. Simmons, a white Democrat to represent the 2nd Congressional District of North Carolina. Cheatham graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. He would work as an educator prior to entering politics. He served two terms in congress and later served the last 28 years of his life as the Superintendent of the State Colored Orphanage Asylum of North Carolina in Oxford. Cheatham died on November 29, 1935 in Oxford, North Carolina at age 77.
Words That Matter
Congressman Henry P. Cheatham
"It seems to me that whenever the colored people of this country ask for anything, something unfortunate intervenes to hinder their getting what they asked."