February 13

February 13, 1882 – Henry Highland Garnet

A great orator of the 19th century, minister, abolitionist and educator (Rev. Henry Highland Garnet) died on February 13, 1882 in Monrovia, Liberia at age 66.

Motto henry highland garnet original

Rev. Henry Highland Garnet

Garnet became an advocate of militant abolitionism.  As a member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Garnet was a regular speaker at abolitionists conferences. During an emotional speech at the 1843 National Negro Convention in Buffalo, New York,  often referred to as “Call To Rebellion” Garnet called for freedom from slavery through militarism by encouraging slaves to revolt against their owners.  Other abolitionists who spoke after Garnet including Frederick Douglas who opposed his suggested violent resistance.  They supported the moral suasion method of fighting slavery (seeking morality as the reason for ending enslavement). A few years later prior to the civil war he became an advocate of African Americans emigrating to Liberia, Mexico or the West Indies.  His great oratorical ability was in use when he became the first African American minister to preach to the United States House of Representatives on February 12, 1865.  He spoke on ending slavery.   In 1881 Garnet received an appointment as president of Avery College and later was appointed U.S. Minister to Liberia in 1881.  Garnet was born a slave on December 23, 1815 in New Market, Kent County, Maryland.  His family later escaped slavery and eventually arrived in New York City where Garnet attended the African Free School and later the Phoenix High School for Colored Youth.   In 1840 he graduated from the Oneida Theological Institute in Whitesboro, New York.  He committed a great amount of his life as a church pastor.

15th St Presbyterian Wash DC 3b15749t

This is an image of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church that was located at 15th and R streets, NW (1705 15th Street, NW), Washington, DC, USA from 1853 to 1918.

Garnet began as a pastor in 1839 at the Liberty Street Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York. He was also pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC when President Lincoln asked him to speak to the United States House of Representatives. Later in life after the civil war he was pastor of the Shiloh Presbyterian Church (currently St. James Presbyterian Church) in Harlem, New York.

Tribute To Black History Month

December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950 – Carter Godwin Woodson

Carter G Woodson portrait

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Dr. Carter G. Woodson  began “Negro History Week” the forerunner to Black History Month. Dr. Woodson was a noted, historian, journalist, author and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.