Martin R Delany

Born May 6, 1812 Charleston, Virginia (now West Virginia) Died January 24, 1885 Wilberforce, Ohio

Black abolitionist and political activist First black field officer in the Union Army

Martin R. Delany was one of America's leading black political activists of the nineteenth century. In the 1840s, he became a leading abolitionist (person who works to end slavery). From the 1850s through the 1870s, his political beliefs changed, and he became one of the country's best-known supporters of black emigration (leaving one country to settle in another country) to Africa and pan-Africanism (a belief that all black peoples should unite to improve their lives). Delany is also well known for his Civil War activities. He was a leading recruiter of black soldiers for the Union Army, and in 1865 he became the first black soldier ever to be named a field officer in the U.S. military.

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