Jeremiah Haralson, Representative, 1875–1877, Republican from Alabama

February 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Posted in Historical, House of Representatives | 2 Comments
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Hon. Jeremiah Haralson of Alabama. Killed by wild beasts near Denver, Colorado about 1916 (photo taken between between 1865 and 1880)

Hon. Jeremiah Haralson of Alabama. Killed by wild beasts near Denver, Colorado about 1916 (photo taken between between 1865 and 1880)

(Black Americans In Congress) Admired by his contemporaries as a natural politician, Jeremiah Haralson made his reputation in Alabama politics as a powerful orator and an adroit debater. Black civil rights advocate Frederick Douglass observed that Haralson spoke “with humor enough in him to supply a half dozen circus clowns.” However, a Democratic majority during his single congressional term tempered his public wit; he made no speeches on the House Floor. Haralson’s unsuccessful re-election campaign in 1876 set off a series of difficult and fruitless attempts to regain his seat in the Jim Crow South, ending a political career marked by mystery and contradiction. Jeremiah Haralson was born a slave near Columbus, Georgia, on April 1, 1846. His early life is not well documented. He was sold twice as a child before John Haralson, a lawyer from Selma, Alabama, purchased him in 1859. After winning his freedom in 1865, Jeremiah Haralson taught himself to read and write. He made his living as a farmer and may also have been a clergyman.

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  1. That’s my great grandfather! I am the youngest son of Saint Joseph Haralson who is the son of George Haralson and the Grandson of Jeremiah. Wow what a family history we have that we never new about until now! Thank you for giving us this part of our family history!


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