This Day in History – February 25th, 1870

640px-Hiram_Rhodes_Revels_-_Brady-Handy-(restored)Hiram Rhodes Revels (September 27th, 1827 – January 16th, 1901) was a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), a Republican politician, and college administrator. Born free in North Carolina, he later lived and worked in Ohio, where he voted before the Civil War.

He was elected as the first African American to serve in the United States Senate, and in the U.S. Congress overall. Revels was sworn in on February 25th, 1870. He represented Mississippi in the Senate in 1870 and 1871 during the Reconstruction era.

During the American Civil War, Revels had helped organize two regiments of the United States Colored Troops and served as a chaplain. After serving in the Senate, Revels was appointed as the first president of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Alcorn State University), 1871-1873 and 1876 to 1882. Later he served again as a minister.

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