History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition

History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition

Hardcover(1st Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition is a collection of biographies of African American men and women at the beginning of the twentieth century. Edited and published by A. B. Caldwell, the History of the American Negro collection includes seven volumes that richly describe the lives of citizens in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, DC, and West Virginia.  In a statement printed in the first volume of this series, Caldwell wrote that his intent in publishing this collection was neither “comprehensive nor exhaustive,” yet he was determined to shed light on the  “successful element unrecorded” of black Americans in the United States. As the 7th volume in Caldwell’s collection, History of the American Negro: West Virginia Edition chronicles the struggles and triumphs of everyday African Americans in West Virginia during the post−World War I era.  A resource for genealogists, historians, and citizens alike, this history provides a detailed account of the often overlooked lives of ordinary men and women.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935978794
Publisher: West Virginia University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2012
Series: West Virginia Classics Series , #3
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

A. B. Caldwell (ca. 1873–1944) was the founder and publisher of A. B. Caldwell Publishing Company. 

Joe Trotter is the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University.

Read an Excerpt

History of the American Negro

By A. B. Caldwell

West Virginia University Press

Copyright © 2012 West Virginia University Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-935978-80-0



Almost from the very beginning of her history the old state of Virginia has made liberal contributions of her sons to other states who are to be found in every section and engaged in all lines of work.

One of these sons of the Old Dominion who has wrought out a large measure of success in his chosen profession of dentistry is Dr. Arthur Stewart Adams of Huntington, W. Va.

Dr. Adams is a native of Tazewell County, Virginia, where he was born on September 10, 1881. His father, John Adams, is a blacksmith and is the son of Eliza Adams. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Miss Rosa Matney, daughter of Alf and Amanda Matney.

Growing up in Tazewell county, young Adams laid the foundation of his education in the public schools. Always a hard worker, his ambition was aroused by a young lady teacher, who built on the foundation laid by the boy's mother, who was ambitious for him. He went to the Bluefield Normal for his literary course, working about the town while in school and with his father during vacation. When he could secure a teacher's license he began teaching and taught in the public schools of the state for six years. As this did not seem to permit the accumulation of any means, he determined to enter upon his studies for dentistry, though he had less than a hundred dollars at the time. Then it occurred to him to handle the matter just as any other business transaction. Accordingly he took the matter up with the local bank and was able to borrow the money for his course. His standing in the community and the confidence which his character inspired may be inferred from this unusual transaction.

He matriculated at the Howard University School of Dentistry, Washington, D. C., and won his D. D. S. degree in 1914. On the first of August of the same year, he began practice at Northfork and was successful from the beginning. In six years he had built a practice of ten thousand a year. In 1920, he left Northfork and moved to Huntington on account of the educational and other advantages for his growing family.

Dr. Adams was married on June 28, 1905, to Miss Mary L. Taylor, daughter of Giles Taylor of Christiansburg. Mrs. Adams is herself an accomplished teacher having been trained at Bluefield. They have two children, Katharyn Ione and Rosalie Elizabeth Adams.

In politics Dr. Adams is a Republican, in religion a Baptist, being trustee in his local church. Among the secret orders, he is identified with the Masons, Pythians and Odd Fellows. He is also a member of the State Medical and Dental Society. He enters heartily into the business social and professional life of his people and takes an active interest in all matters pertaining to the progress of the race.



Dr. Charles Burton Anderson, who is a successful physician of Mt. Hope, W. Va., was born in Louisa County, Va., April 26, 1871. His parents were William H. Anderson and Fannie Yancey Anderson. His paternal grandparents were Reuben Garrett, a blacksmith, and his wife, Lucy Garrett.

Young Anderson worked on his father's farm in Louisa County until he was eighteen years of age, pursuing his elementary studies in the local public schools. As his work there offered little opportunity for money making, he came into the coal fields of West Virginia where he earned money for both his literary and medical courses.

He attended the West Virginia Collegiate Institute and was graduated in 1900. It was his ambition from youth to become a physician, so with courage and fidelity he worked toward that end. He pursued his medical course at Leonard Medical College, Raleigh, N. C., receiving his degree in 1904.

Upon the completion of his course, he returned to West Virginia and practiced at Winona one year, at the end of which time he moved to Mount Hope, where he has since resided. He has built up a good practice and has proven himself not only an excellent physician but a valuable citizen. He is a member of the State Medical Association.

On October 17, 1906, Dr. Anderson married Miss Fannie Wilkerson, daughter of Oliver and Mary P. Wilkerson, of Montgomery, W. Va., Mrs. Anderson was educated at the West Virginia Collegiate Institute and has been a successful teacher for a number of years. At present she is the principal of the Du Bois Graded School of Mt. Hope.

Dr. and Mrs. Anderson are members of the Baptist Church in which he is a deacon. He is also the Superintendent of a Sunday School, which has, through his efforts, become a standard school. He has been connected with the Knights of Pythias for a number of years and is now the Great State Sachem of the Independent Order of Red Men. In politics he is a Republican and a member of the Republican Executive Committee in the city of Mt. Hope.

Dr. Anderson has accumulated real estate of considerable value. Naturally enough his principal reading runs to the books of his profession. After that, his favorite is the Bible. He takes an active part in all things looking to the progress and development of the race and is at present Chairman of the Executive Board of the Mt. Hope branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He believes that it is a matter of vital importance that parents should educate their children and is an ardent advocate of cooperation and a better mutual understanding between the races.



Rev. Jared Maurice Arter, Ph.D., D. D., now (1921) pastor of the Curtis Free Baptist Church of Harper's Ferry was born in Jefferson County, W. Va., on January 27, 1850. So it will be seen that he was a boy eleven years of age at the outbreak of the war and a youth of fifteen at the close of the great struggle.

Residing near Harper's Ferry, he was an eye witness of many of the stirring scenes which constitute one of the most dramatic chapters in American History.

His education stretched over many years and was secured at widely separated points including the graded schools of Newfield and Ithaca, N. Y.; private school, Washington, D. C.; Storer College, Harper's Ferry; Pennsylvania State College (graduated with Ph.D.), Hillsdale, Mich., (graduated with D. D.); and Chicago Theological Seminary where he finished in 1894. As he started to school soon after the war, it will be seen that he continued to study for nearly thirty years. In fact, he is one of those rare men whose minds seem to remain young and receptive despite the years.

When it is recalled that our subject lost his father when only seven years of age, and that he was a slave till thirteen, and that he was "bound out" from fifteen till he was twenty-one in order that he might get some schooling and learn a trade, his struggles will be appreciated. Another fine trait of his character is brought out by the fact that, at a time when he was most anxious to proceed with his education, he remained out of school for two years in order that he might assist his brother in providing their mother a home. With humble gratitude he acknowledges her influence as one of the potent factors in shaping his life. He also mentions an older brother and several teachers, but first and most of all the Divine leadership.

Dr. Arter was converted in 1873, while at Shorter College and soon after felt called to preach the Gospel. It was some years later, however, before he finally surrendered himself to the Divine call and was licensed to preach. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry by the Curtis Free Baptist Church in 1887.

He has made for himself a splendid record as both pastor and educator. In 1875, he began teaching at Luray, Va. The following year he taught at Beaver Creek, Md. The school year of 1877–78 was spent at Ripon, W. Va.; he was there again 1881–82, and still again from 1885–87. From 1887 to 1891, he taught four subjects in Storer College and pastored the College church. From 1895–99 he taught physics, mathematics and one class in theology in Virginia Seminary and College at Lynchburg. Beginning in 1900, he conducted at Cairo, Ill., a Bible training school for ministers and S. S. workers for eight years. From 1908–15 he was president of West Virginia Seminary and College and principal of Hill Top High School in cooperative work. The year following that he was principal of Fayetteville Graded School. In 1916 he was called to his old home church and to his alma mater. He is now (1921) pastor of the Curtis Free Baptist church at Harper's Ferry and instructor in the Bible at Storer College. So it will be seen that, like the apostle, he has been "in the works abundant."

In politics Dr. Arter is a Republican and at different times has done considerable campaigning. Among the secret orders, he belongs to the Masons and the Pythians.

Dr. Arter has been married twice. His first marriage was on July 10, 1890, to Miss Emily Carter, daughter of Armistead and Amanda Carter. Of the five children born to them only one, the oldest, Charles O. Arter survives. Of the others, two girls died in infancy, a boy at seven and a married daughter at nineteen. Mrs. Arter passed to her reward in 1907.

On December 29, 1910, Dr. Arter married Miss Maggie Wall, daughter of Milton and Adeline Wall.

In his reading Dr. Arter takes a wide range. After the Bible, he would perhaps put history next. He is also fond of science, biology, and the literature of modern missions and Negro advancement. When asked for his views as to the progress of the race, he said, "Urge above all things else regenerated lives and loyalty to God, patriotism, true home building, economy, education, race consciousness and unceasing efforts to deserve and to secure all rights."

Dr. Arter is the author of book of reminiscences entitled "Echoes From a Pioneer Life," which gives not only a most readable account of his own work but is a valuable side light on the history of his times.



One of the striking figures of the race in West Virginia is Mr. Andrew Minor Baker, Grand Master of the Masons of the state.

He came to the state from the Old Dominion having been born at the historic old town of Louisa Court House on May 7, 1860, one year before the outbreak of the war which was to surge and eddy about his old home and finally bring freedom to him and to his people in America. His father Stephen Baker died during the war. His mother was Nellie White.

Coming of school age just about the time the public schools were established, he went to school only a week, for it was necessary for him to begin work at an early age. He has been a hard worker ever since. It seems strange in this day of high wages to be told that the boy worked the first year he was away from home for $9.00 and even when older put in many a day at from 25 to 40 cents a day.

In 1872 he left Virginia on railroad work in which line he continued for eighteen years. He moved to Huntington 35 years ago and has seen the city grow from a small village to a splendid modern city.

He is in a very real sense self made. He tells of a most unusual experience when he was about eighteen years of age. At that time he was at Clifton Forge, Va. He had been paying attention to, and was in correspondence with, a lady but was at the disadvantage of having his letters to her written by another, and her letters to him read by another. One night he dreamed of writing her with his own hand and directing the letter to her and receiving and reading for himself her reply. When he awoke, he secured paper, pen and ink and proceeded to write and direct the letter. In due time the answer came and he was able without assistance to read the letter. Since that time he has handled his own correspondence and reads books for himself. His favorite book is the Bible.

In politics he is a Republican though he has not been active. He is a member of the Baptist church in which he has been deacon and treasurer for 35 years.

It is perhaps as a secret order man, however, that he is best known. In the fall of 1921, he was elected Grand Master of the West Virginia Grand Lodge of Masons in which order he has worked his way to up the 33d degree. He is also Grand Potentate of the Ancient Order of the Mystic Shrine. He belongs to the Pythians, is head of the Eastern Star and is identified with the Heroines of Jericho and the Daughters of the Sphinx.



Dr. Samuel Jones Bampfield, the only colored physician at the prosperous mining town of Omar in Logan County, W. Va., is a native of the historic old city of Charleston, S. C. He was born on April 1, 1876, son of John G. and Margaret (Jackson) Bampfield. The father is a farmer, the son of Joseph Bampfield Jr., and his wife Judith (Robinson) Bampfield. Joseph, Jr., was the son of Joseph Bampfield, Sr., and his wife Judith (Robinson) Bampfield. Joseph, Jr., was the son of Joseph Bampfield, Sr., and his wife Annette (Turnbull) Bampfield. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Miss Margaret Jackson, daughter of Charles and Agnes Jackson. Her grandparents were Henry and Amelia Jackson Leith. Thus it will be seen that Dr. Bampfield has a clear record of his ancestry for three generations back. His people were free born, and so, even before emancipation, had enjoyed the advantages of citizenship, except the franchise. These advantages included education, the ownership of property and many opportunities of culture not open, of course, to the slave population.

As a boy, young Bampfield attended the Beaufort and Charleston, S. C. public schools. When ready for college he went to Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, graduating with the A.B. degree in 1893. Later the same institution conferred on him the A.M. degree. For his professional course, he matriculated at the School of Medicine of Howard University where he won his M.D. degree in 1904. His way in school and college was not easy, but by persistent effort and self denial he forged ahead in the face of his difficulties and equipped himself for the serious work of life. While Dr. Bampfield did not lack sympathy and encouragement at home, yet he is, in the best sense of the word, a self made man.

After completion of his medical course, he began the practice at Beckley, W. Va., in 1905. He remained at Beckley for fourteen months, then went to Bluefield, Mercer County, W. Va., practicing here and at Gaitto and the vicinity around, where he had a most successful practice for ten years.

With the opening up of the Logan County fields, Dr. Bampfield moved to Omar where he has since resided, and where he has been unusually successful. It is interesting to note that his practice extends far into the adjacent mountains and that ninety per cent of his patients are white. He is regarded as the most substantial colored man in that part of the state.

On November 19, 1919, Dr. Bampfield married Miss Ethel Blanche Spriggs, daughter of William A. and Lucy (Davis) Spriggs of Institute, W. Va. Mrs. Bampfield was educated at the West Virginia Collegiate Institute, W. Va., graduating from the Normal & Commercial departments, after which she entered Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn., graduating from the Department of Music in 1915. She taught in State College, S. C. and in the high school, Huntington, W. Va., and is an accomplished woman. She joins heartily in the work of her husband.

In 1912, in the August Primary he ran for Justice of the Peace in Rock District, Mercer County. Of four candidates, two to be nominated, he outdistanced the nearest competitor by 460 votes, but in the November election, after conceding his election for the first three days, there was nothing more said until the County Court canvassed the votes; he was counted out and a Democrat counted in against him. Since then he has been strictly independent, preferring to vote for men rather than parties.

In religion he is a Presbyterian. He belongs to the State Medical Association and also the National Medication Association. Among the secret orders and benevolent societies, he is identified with the Pythians, Odd Fellows, Masons, Red Men and Golden Rule. He is medical examiner for the above local orders, both white and colored.

Dr. Bampfield has been, and is, an intelligent student of conditions and believes that the best interests of the race are to be promoted by "education, intelligent co-operation and the improved intellectual and moral standards of the ministry." His favorite reading includes the Bible, Life of Booker T. Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Roosevelt, Longfellow, Shakespeare and the best current literature.


Excerpted from History of the American Negro by A. B. Caldwell. Copyright © 2012 West Virginia University Press. Excerpted by permission of West Virginia University Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction Joe William Trotter,Jr. xi

Preface 1

Adams, Arthur S. 6

Anderson, Charles B. 7

Arter, Jared M. 9

Baker, Andrew M. 13

Bampfield, Samuel J. 15

Banks, George A. 18

Barnett, Constantine C. 20

Bolling, Edward A. 24

Boyd, Charles W. 27

Boulware, James H. 29

Bridgeford, William V. 32

Brown, Joseph E. 34

Bryant, Isaac V. 36

Butts, Jonathan S. 40

Capehart, Harry J. 3

Capel, William G. 296

Carter, Emory R. 43

Coleman, James D. 44

Colson, Walter L. 46

Curtis, Austin W. 48

Drew, James W. 51

Ellis, James M. 53

Fairfax, Matthew L. 56

Farrar, Leonard C. 294

Ferguson, Daniel L. 59

Ferguson, Gurnett E. 310

Gamble, Henry F. 63

Goodwyn, Alfred E. 68

Grandison, Joseph M. 70

Grant, Joseph G. 73

Griffith, John L. 75

Hargrove, Henry C. 78

Harris, Cornelius N. 82

Harrison, Roscoe C. 85

Hatter, Hamilton 86

Hayden, Curtis T. 89

Head, Henry Clay 297

Hereford, James E. 92

Hill, Isaac Rucker 93

Hill, James Levi 96

Hill, Reuben W. 100

Hill, Tyler E. 102

Hodges, Charles E. 107

Holley, William A. 110

Howard, Edward 113

Howard, Robert J. 114

Hunter, David C. 118

Jackson, James A. 121

Jackson, William 122

Jefferson, John R. 125

Jefferson, William E. 128

Johnson, Edward T. 132

Johnson, Langdon E. 133

Johnson, Richard P. 137

Jones, Robert L. 138

Kennedy, Ethelbert S. 313

Kingslow, Harry E. 141

Kyle, Duncan H. 144

Lawrence, Wm. C. 147

Lewis, Huling H. 149

Lofton, Ely L. 301

Love, Julius H. 151

Marshall, George N. 152

Meadows, Robert D. W. 156

Mitchell, William C. 157

Mitchell, William H. 161

Morton, Edward L. 162

McCollum, William E. 305

McGhee, Charles E. 167

Mckoy, Rusian H. 170

Nickerson, Joseph J. 173

Nutter, Thomas G. 174

Page, Thomas T. 179

Parson, Joseph E. 180

Payne, Brown W. 184

Payne, Charles B. 186

Perkins, Lloyd A. 187

Prillerman, Byrd 190

Ramer, Frederick R. 316

Reed, Henry M. C. 195

Robinson, James W. 199

Ruff, Thomas M. 203

Saunders, William A. 204

Scott, William W. 208

Shellcroft, John W. 211

Sims, Robert P. 212

Sinclair, Moses T. 215

Smith, Simpson A. 216

Smith, Vincent S. 218

Smoot, Andrew J. 222

Spaulding, Albert L. 226

Staples, Alexander A. 227

Sweeney, Thomas L. 228

Thompson, Chauncey N. 308

Thompson, Margaret A. W. 231

Trice, Henry J. 234

Turner, John J. 237

Wade, Samuel L. 240

Wainwright, Chester D. 241

Walden, Hezekiah. 243

Warren, Harold J. 307

Warren, Robert T. G. 248

Washington, Hattie A. 251

Washington, Stepto A. 252

Watkins, Lee A. 247

Watson, Robert J. 254

Watson, Minnie H. 258

White, Benjamin F. 259

Whitfield, Andrew H. 263

Whittico, James M. 264

Whittico, Matthew T. 266

Williams, John J. 269

Williams, Reavie S. 273

Winters, Henry H. 274

Woodfork, John D. 278

Woodson, William R. 281

Wright, Thomas S. 282

Zeiglar, Birton L. 286

Customer Reviews