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Joseph Hayne Rainey

Born: 1832 AD
Died: 1887 AD, at 55 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Political Leader, Politician, Representative


1832 - Joseph Hayne Rainey, born on the 21st of June in Georgetown, South Carolina. He was the first African American person to serve in the United States House of Representatives and the second black person to serve in the United States Congress (U.S. Senator Hiram Revels was the first).

1861 - With the outbreak of the American Civil War, he was drafted by the Confederate government to work on fortifications in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as to work as a laborer on blockade runner ships.

1862 - He and his wife were able to escape to Bermuda.

1865 - The couple moved to the town of Hamilton when an outbreak of yellow fever threatened St. George.

1866 - Returned to South Carolina.

1868 - He was a delegate to the convention which wrote the state's new constitution.

1870 - Was elected to the State Senate of South Carolina.

1870 - 1879 - He was seated in December and was re-elected to Congress four times; he served until March, which made him the longest-serving black Congressmen prior to William L. Dawson in the 50s.

1876 - Won re-election against Democratic candidate John Smythe Richardson.

1886 - Retired in Georgetown, the city in which he was born.

1887 - Died on the 1st of August in South Carolina.


Page last updated: 2:12am, 07th Jun '07