" John Roy Lynch From Slave to Congressman Born: September 10, 1847 Concordia Parish, LA Died: November 2, 1939 Chicago, IL John Roy Lynch was born into slavery and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. During Reconstruction, in 1869, he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. In 1873, he became one of the first African Americans elected to the US House of Representatives. He later wrote books about his life and Reconstruction."
REMINISCENCES OF AN ACTIVE LIFE: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN ROY LYNCH First edition University of Chicago Press (1970) xlii, 521p. Gilt-titled blue cloth 'Negro American Biographies and Autobiographies", John Hope Franklin, Series Editor
Betsey Stockton (c. 1798–1865) was an African American educator and missionary born into slavery in Princeton, NJ. She gained her freedom at 20 and travelled to Hawaii, Canada and Philadelphia teaching and serving as a nurse. She moved back to Princeton in 1835 and spent the rest of her life enriching the lives of the members of the local African American community. There is a window memorialized to her in the Witherspoon Street Church, Princeton, NJ.
Biddy Mason, an African American slave woman who lived in San Bernardino in the 1850s and who, after gaining her freedom, became the first African American woman to own property in Los Angeles. A nurse and midwife by profession, she helped found the first elementary school for African American children in Los Angeles. Biddy Mason has been described as the proud symbol of African American achievement and perseverance, and the embodiment of all that is possible in Southern California.