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The Directory provides information about former and current senators. © 1996-2020 Historycentral. "[3], On June 24, 1878, Bruce married Josephine Beal Willson (October 29, 1853 – February 15, 1923), a fair-skinned socialite of Cleveland, Ohio, amid great publicity; the couple traveled to Europe for a four-month honeymoon. After the American Civil War, he moved to Mississippi, where in 1869 he became a supervisor of elections. In 1870, Hiram R. Revels became the … He served in that post from 1881 to 1885 and again from 1895 to 1898. Explore our complete time lines of major events in American history as well as World History. Collins, Grace; York, Jennifer "Bruce, Blanche Kelso 1849–1898 In 1868, after 2 years at Oberlin College, he moved to Floreyville, Bolivar County, Miss., where he became a planter in the rich Mississippi Delta and acquired considerable property. Can't find your senator's name in the list of Senators? Since its inception, after the federal government’s 1865 authorization of a bank for blacks that would help former slaves become economically stable, mismanagement and corruption had plagued Freedmen’s Savings and Trust. President McKinley appointed him register of the Treasury again in 1895. Before entering politics, Bruce was a successful educator. Most Republicans wanted Bruce in the Senate, especially James Hill, Mississippi’s most influential black leader. Bruce learned to read and demonstrated an eagerness for learning. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953. Usage Policy   |   Bruce was highly regarded in Bolivar County, where he served as assessor, sheriff, county school superintendent, and member of the Board of Levee Commissioners. Blanche Kelso Bruce was born on March 1, 1841 in Farmville, Virginia to a slave mother and a white plantation owner. Encyclopedia of World Biography. The first black man to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate, Princess Stephanie of Monaco frowns a bit, Sean Connery: 6 Great Photos for his 80th Birthday, Princess Stephanie of Monaco holds up her gown. In 1975, the residence of Bruce in the Shaw neighborhood was made a National Historic Landmark. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The youngest of 11 children, he worked in fields and factories from Virginia to Mississippi. Neale Pub. Retrieved October 16, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/blanche-kelso-bruce. American history and world history can be found at historycental- History's home on the web. Bruce lost his political base in Mississippi with the end of Reconstruction governments in the South. Bruce attended Oberlin College from 1866 to 1868, then became a farmer in Floreyville, Mississippi. According to Howard N. Rabinowitz, author of Black Leaders, white planters who dominated the politics of the area considered Bruce, who had offended no local whites, “safe—a dignified and educated mulatto who did not identify himself with threatening issues.” Bruce was also a landowner—he had turned 640 acres of swampy land into a plantation—which made him even more appealing to white voters, In 1873 Bruce declined an offer to run for lieutenant governor. Blanche Kelso Bruce (1841-1898), African American political leader in Mississippi, was the first member of his race to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. We do allow cookies to help our advertising partners give you a better ad experience. By 1868 Bruce had begun working as a cotton farmer in Mississippi. Bruce may be remembered best for his participation in the investigation into the collapse of the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company. In addition to these accomplishments, she was the first black … . ." By 1874, the bank had collapsed. When Blanche Bruce was young, he played with his half-brother. In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Blanche Bruce on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. 1968). Shortly after the beginning of the Civil War, Bruce fled to Kansas, becoming a free man before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Born Blanche Bruce (added middle name Kelso as an adult) on March 1, 1841, in Farmville, VA; son of a slave mother; married Josephine Beall Wilson (a teacher), 1878; children: Roscoe Conkling Bruce; died from diabetic complications in March of 1898, in Washington, D.C. Education: May have studied at Oberlin College. Blanche Bruce was born into slavery in Virginia, but escaped at the start of the Civil War and made his way to Ohio, where he attended Oberlin College. Dictionary of American Biography. A historical highway marker marking Bruce's birthplace at the intersection of highway 360 and 623 near Green Bay, Prince Edward County, Virginia was unveiled by the African American Heritage Preservation Foundation on March 1, 2006.[14]. Senator, Re-upping: Barack Obama’s Apartment from Harvard Days, 2020 is a Rough Year for the Women of ‘Goldfinger’. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In 2008, the school was relocated to Park View and the old building demolished in 2009. When he gained his freedom during the Civil War by escaping from Missouri to Kansas he moved to Lawrence. . Awards: Honorary degree, Howard University, 1893. was elected, becoming the second black man from Mississippi to serve in that position. [5], Bruce served by appointment as the District of Columbia recorder of deeds from 1890 to 1893; his salary was $30,000 per year. After serving as sergeant at arms in the state senate, he held the posts of county assessor, sheriff, and member of the Board of Levee Commissioners of the Mississippi River. After being educated by his white half-brother, he escaped to Hannibal, Missouri in 1861, where he became a teacher. Born into slavery in 1841, Blanche K. Bruce spent his childhood years in Virginia and Missouri where he received his earliest education from the tutor hired to teach his master's son. Former U.S. Polly named her 11th child Blanche Bruce, but Bruce added the middle name Kelso as an adult. ." Bruce died of diabetes-related complications in Washington, D.C., on March 17, 1898. Contemporary Black Biography. Bruce then founded a school for black children in Hannibal, Missouri. He died in Washington, D.C., on March 17, 1898. At the end of his 6-year term in the Senate he was appointed register of the Treasury by President James A. Garfield and later served as recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia during the Harrison administration. Bruce attended Oberlin College from 1866 to 1868, then became a farmer in Floreyville, Mississippi. Cromwell, John W. The Negro in American History. Bruce was a handsome man with erect bearing and polished manners, and he and his wife were active in Washington society. In July 1898, the District of Columbia public school trustees ordered that a then new public school building on Marshall Street in Park View be named the Bruce School in his honor. In 1874, he was elected to the US Senate as a Mississippi Republican, the only African-American prior to the 1960s to serve a full term in the US Senate. President Benjamin Harrison appointed Bruce as Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia in 1889, and he remained in this post until 1894. . Bruce was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia near Farmville to Pettis Perkinson, a white Virginia plantation owner, and an African-American house slave named Polly Bruce. Green Bay, Prince Edward County, Virginia, African American Heritage Preservation Foundation, Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View, List of African-American United States Senators, Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography, "Freed slave presides over Senate: February 14, 1879", "Roscoe Conkling Bruce and the District of Columbia's Public Schools, 1906 to 1921", "Dedication Ceremony honoring ex-slave Blanche Kelso Bruce, 1st Black senator to serve a full term", Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, United States Senator (Class 1) from Mississippi, Senate Mississippi River Levees Committee, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blanche_Bruce&oldid=986966316, African-American politicians during the Reconstruction Era, African-American candidates for Vice President of the United States, Burials at Woodlawn Cemetery (Washington, D.C.), People of Missouri in the American Civil War, People from Prince Edward County, Virginia, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from Appleton's Cyclopedia, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with USCongress identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 November 2020, at 01:15. Contemporary Black Biography. Bruce also served as the recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C., and again as the Register of the Treasury, where he served until his death in 1898. Random House, 1975. [10], One newspaper wrote that Bruce did not approve of the designation "colored men." At the 1880 Republican National Convention in Chicago, Bruce became the first African American to win any votes for national office at a major party's nominating convention, with eight votes for vice president. Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a woman ahead of her t…, Turner, Henry McNeal 1834–1915 In February 1874, Bruce was elected to the U.S. Senate, the second African American to serve in the upper house of Congress. African-American Washington D.C. artist Simmie Knox was selected in 2000 to paint the portrait, which was unveiled in the Capitol in 2001. Memberships: Board of Trustees, Howard University, 1894-98. 2014. Though Bruce focused on protecting the rights of freedmen and other minorities, his life of social privilege in the nation’s capital insulated him from the deprivations suffered by many of his black constituents. Bruce was now ready to take advantage of all of the opportunities available to an ambitious, emancipated black man in the post-Civil War South. There he opened a school for black children. Four Views of Blanche Bruce, the Slave Who Became a U.S. ." Privacy Policy   |   Gale Research, 1998. Notable Black American Women. When Blanche Bruce was young, he played with his half-brother. [1], Bruce was born into slavery in 1841 in Prince Edward County, Virginia near Farmville to Polly Bruce, an African-American woman who served as a domestic slave.

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