November 15


November 15, 1908 Ebenezer D. Bassett, educator, abolitionist, civil rights activist, and the United States’ first African American diplomat, died. Bassett was born October 16, 1833 in Derby, Connecticut. He was the first black student to attend the Connecticut Normal School and, after graduation,n he taught school in New Haven, Connecticut. Soon after, Bassett moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to teach at the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY) and became one of the leading voices for the abolition of slavery. He also used his position at ICY to recruit blacks to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Bassett Minister Resident to Haiti (Ambassador). After resigning that post in 1877, Bassett spent the next ten years as Consul General for Haiti in New York City. Bassett’s biography, “Hero of Hispaniola – America’s First Black Diplomat, Ebenezer D. Bassett,” was published in 2008.


About Author

Leave A Reply