Hiram Rhodes Revels

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Hiram Rhodes Revels (September 27, 1827– January 16, 1901) was a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church(AME), and a politician. He was the first person of color to serve in the United States Senate, and in the U.S. Congress overall. He represented Mississippi in 1870 and 1871 during Reconstruction.

During the American Civil War, he helped organize two regiments of the United States Colored Troops and served as a chaplain.

Revels was born a free man in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to free parents of African and European ancestry. He was tutored by a black woman for his early education. In 1838 he went to live with his older brother, Elias B. Revels, in Lincolnton, North Carolina, and was apprenticed as a barber in his brother’s shop. After Elias Revels died in 1841, his widow Mary transferred the shop to Hiram before she remarried.

Revels attended the Union County Quaker Seminary in Indiana, and studied at a black seminary in Ohio.

In 1845 Revels was ordained as…

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