US Black Heritage: Niagara Movement

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US Black Heritage Project

The Niagara Movement was a Black American civil rights organization founded in 1905 by a group of civil rights activists, many of them lawyers.[1]

The 29 founders who traveled to the inaugural meeting of the Niagara Movement became known as "The Original Twenty-nine":

  1. Dr. Henry Lewis "H. L." Bailey Teacher and medical doctor. (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  2. Jesse Max Barber Journalist, Teacher, Dentist. (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  3. Charles Edwin Bentley Founder of the largest local dental society in the world, a leader of the Chicago branch of the NAACP, Dentist. (Connected)
  4. Robert Bonner (abt.1866-1926)
  5. Isaac F. "I.F." Bradley, Sr. (1862 – 1938) – Assistant county attorney, Wyandotte County; justice of the peace; judge; publisher and editor of The Wyandotte Echo (1930 – 1938), father of Isaac F. Bradley, Jr., who was assistant attorney general for Kansas (1937-39) (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  6. William Justin "W. Justin" Carter, Sr. (May 28, 1866 – March 23, 1947) – Pennsylvania lawyer; civil right activist; scholar; early NAACP member (not connected 20 Feb 2021)
  7. James Robert Lincoln Diggs – College president; pastor; ninth African American to receive a doctorate in the USA. (will be connected by Feb 22 or 23: via Pack-2145)
  8. W. E. B. Du Bois – Co-founder of the NAACP (Connected)
  9. Byron Gunner (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  10. William Henry Harrison Hart— Born to a white slave trader; jailed activist; secured funding from Congress, with W. H. Richards, for first law school building at Howard University; law professor; worked for United States Treasury, United States Department of Agriculture; assistant librarian of Congress; first black lawyer appointed as special U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia (Connected)
  11. Alonzo F. Herndon – Born to slavery; entrepreneur; one of the first African-American millionaires in the United States (connected)
  12. Lafayette M. Hershaw journalist, lawyer, a clerk and law examiner for the General Land Office of the United States Department of the Interior (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  13. Richard Hill (1864-) - Native of Nashville, Tennessee; teacher and city schools supervisor; insurance and real estate entrepreneur; served as NM Secretary for Tennessee; father of civil rights activist and lawyer Richard Hill, Jr. (connected)
  14. Edwin B. Jourdain, Massachusetts (connected)
  15. James L. Madden
  16. Frederick L. McGhee (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  17. George Frazier Miller (November 28, 1864 – May 9, 1943) — rector of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, Brooklyn; socialist; civil rights activist (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  18. George William Mitchell (1845-1877), Pennsylvania (connected)
  19. Clement G. Morgan Attorney, civil rights activist, and city official of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was the first African-American to earn degrees from both Harvard University and its law school; the first African-American to deliver Harvard's senior class oration; and the first African-American alderman in New England. One founders of the Boston branch of the NAACP. (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  20. Emery Turner Morris (abt.1851-1924) Massachusetts deputy sealer of weights and measures; druggist; rail porter; stationary steam engineer; lay teacher who created extensive antislavery libraries in New England; founder of the Boston branch of the Movement.
  21. Freeman H. M. Murray intellectual leader, civil rights activist, journalist (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  22. William Henry "W. H." Richards (January 15, 1856 – 1941) – Lawyer and law professor; secured funding from Congress, with William Henry Harrison Hart, for first law school building at Howard University; activist; alderman; mayor; William H. Richards: A remarkable life of a remarkable man, was a biography by Julia B. Nelson, published about 1900 (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  23. Garnett Russell "G.R." Waller (February 17, 1857 – March 7, 1941) – Shoemaker; pastor (connected)
  24. William Henry "W. H." Scott (June 15, 1848 – June 27, 1910)– Born to slavery, soldier, teacher, bookseller, Baptist pastor, activist, founder of Massachusetts Racial Protective League and the National Independent Political League (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  25. Brown Sylvester "B. S." Smith (1861-1932) – Born to parents who were born into slavery; orphaned young; activist; lawyer
  26. Henry C. Smith – Musician, composer; civil rights activist; Ohio deputy oil inspector; co-founder and editor of The Cleveland Gazette (not connected 22 Feb 2021)
  27. Harvey A Thompson (1863-)
  28. William Monroe Trotter (connected)
  29. George Henry "G. H." Woodson (December 15, 1865 – July 7, 1933)— (not connected as of 22 Feb 2022) Prominent criminal trial attorney, born to newly emancipated slaves; founder and president of both the Iowa Negro Bar Association in 1901 and — subsequent to being denied membership in the American Bar Association (along with Gertrude Rush, S. Joe Brown, James B. Morris, and Charles P. Howard, Sr.) — the National Negro Bar Association, in 1925, which became the National Bar Association (NBA), of which he also served as president emeritus; President Coolidge appointed Woodson chairman of the first all-Negro commission ever sent overseas, with a mandate to investigate the economic conditions of the Virgin Islands. (not connected 22 Feb 2021)

Other members/leaders:

Women's auxiliary within the Niagara Movement


  1. Wikipedia: Niagara Movement

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