1841 – Bruce was born in Prince Edward County on the 1st of March.
1850 – Bruce moved to Missouri after becoming a printer’s apprentice.
1864 – He moved to Hannibal, Missouri, where he established Missouri’s first school for blacks.
– Bruce became a wealthy landowner in Mississippi and was appointed to the positions of Tallahatchie County registrar of voters and tax assessor before winning an election for sheriff in Bolivar County.
– He later was elected to other county positions, including tax collector and supervisor of education, while also editing a local newspaper.
1874 – In February, Bruce was elected by the state legislature to the Senate as a Republican.
1880 – James Z. George was elected to succeed Bruce.
1881 – Bruce was appointed by President James A. Garfield to be the register of the Treasury, making Bruce the first black whose signature was represented on U.S. currency.
1891-1893 – Bruce served as the District of Columbia recorder of deeds.
1898 – He was a register of the Treasury until his death on the 17th of March.