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Isaac Johnson: Former Slave, Master Mason

“The citizens of our patriotic town are erecting a fine town hall which is to cost from $10,000.… Mr. Isaac Johnson, a colored gentleman from West Winchester, Ont. is the contractor and one of the best architects in the country.”…

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Private Kenneth O. Nelson

“Colored Boy, Argonne Hero, Buried Sunday.”  On September 24, 1921, this was Binghamton’s Morning Sun’s title for its article about the next day’s military funeral in Endicott for a young, local African American soldier who was killed in action during the First…

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Ned Sherman: Early African-American Mayor

“A Negro Elected President of the Village of Cleveland.” On May 16, 1878, this was the startling title of the Oswego Daily Times’ article on the election of Edward “Ned” Sherman as President, or Mayor, of a small village of approximately…

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Frederick Douglass and the July 5th Movement

“The Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” These were Frederick Douglass’ unyielding words from his momentous “Fifth of July Speech”* to the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester’s Corinthian Hall in 1852. Douglass had…

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