Forgotten prophet; the life of John Mercer Langston

Cheek, William F, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Younger, Edward, University of Virginia

The name of John Mercer Langston is almost totally unknown to the historian and interested layman who seek to recapture all our yesterdays. With the possible exception of a handful of devoted writers on Negro history, there is scarcely a living American who can offer more than a very brief biographical sketch of a man who lived an exceptionally full and varied life.

Having profited from a generous inheritance and a broad education, John M. Langston rose rapidly in a United States which seldom provided more than toleration for the black man. He served the United States government as an education official of the Freedmen's Bureau and as its minister to the Republic of Haiti. In the field of education, he became law dean and acting president of Howard University and president of Virginia State College at Petersburg. He participated in and indeed contributed notably to most of the outstanding Negro movements during his lifetime. A fervent crusader for the Republican party throughout his career, Langston became the only Negro from the state of Virginia ever to represent it in Congress. At his death in 1897 he was considered by many to be, next to his great rival Frederick Douglass, the most illustrious Negro of the 19th century.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:34:25.

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