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Who Was Josiah Walls?

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He was the first black Congressman from the state of Florida. He served in the 42nd Congress.

He was a Republican.

He passed away on this day 115 years ago. Citizen Media News wanted to take a moment to remember Congressman Walls.

Take a moment to read his story by clicking on this text.

The 41st Congress saw the first two blacks elected to congress, Joseph Rainey and Jefferson Long.

Joseph Rainey

Jefferson F. Long

Yes, both Republicans.

In the next Congress, there were four black gentlemen elected. In this group was Josiah Walls, who served until 1877.

After the first six took office, fifteen black congressmen would serve. The last person of this time period was Oscar Stanton De Priest, who left congress on January 3, 1935

There would not be another black republican to serve in congress until Gary Franks’ tenure in 1991.

J.C. Watts, Tim Scott, Allen West, Will Hurd, and the first female black Republican, Mia Love, all soon followed.

Congressman Hurd is the only seated black Republican Congressman at this time.

Out of 126 black Congressmen that have served since Rep. Rainey took office 150 years ago in 1870, there have been only 27 total that have served as Republicans.

In fact, there have only been 7 Republican Congressmen that were born after slavery ended.

Congressman Walls left congress in 1877. Do you know who the next elected black Republican from the state of Florida was?

One of Citizen Media’s favorite people, LTC (R) Allen West.

Thank you Rep. Walls for blazing the trail for the handful of Republican Congressman that served after you.

The new generation of Black Republicans across the country that have stepped up to run for a position in Congress includes Jarome Bell Bell from Virginia, Joe Collins and Errol Webber from California have announced their candidacy for Congress.

 

From Wikipedia, used for ease of formatting:

Representative Congressional District Took office Left office Party Congress Former slave Ref. Note
Joseph Rainey - Brady-Handy.jpg
Joseph Rainey
(1832–1887)
South Carolina’s 1st December 12, 1870 March 3, 1879 Republican 41st
(1869–1871)
Yes [5] [note 1]
THRU
45th
(1877–1879)
Jefferson F. Long - Brady-Handy.jpg
Jefferson F. Long
(1836–1901)
Georgia’s 4th January 16, 1871 March 3, 1871 Republican 41st
(1869–1871)
Yes [6] [note 2]
Robert C. DeLarge - Brady-Handy.jpg
Robert C. De Large
(1842–1874)
South Carolina’s 2nd March 4, 1871 January 24, 1873 Republican 42nd
(1871–1873)
No [7] [note 3]
Robert B. Elliott.jpg
Robert B. Elliott
(1842–1884)
South Carolina’s 3rd March 4, 1871 November 1, 1874 Republican 42nd
(1871–1873)
No [9] [note 4]
43rd
(1873–1875)
Benjamin S. Turner - Brady-Handy.jpg
Benjamin S. Turner
(1825–1894)
Alabama’s 1st March 4, 1871 March 3, 1873 Republican 42nd
(1871–1873)
Yes [10] [note 5]
Walls josiah.jpg
Josiah T. Walls
(1842–1905)
Florida’s at-large March 4, 1871 January 29, 1873 Republican 42nd
(1871–1873)
Yes [11] [note 6]
March 4, 1873 March 3, 1875 43rd
(1873–1875)
Florida’s 2nd March 4, 1875 April 19, 1876 44th
(1875–1877)
Richard Harvey Cain.jpg
Richard H. Cain
(1825–1887)
South Carolina’s at-large March 4, 1873 March 3, 1875 Republican 43rd
(1873–1875)
No [14] [note 7]
South Carolina’s 2nd March 4, 1877 March 3, 1879 45th
(1877–1879)
John R. Lynch.jpg
John R. Lynch
(1847–1939)
Mississippi’s 6th March 4, 1873 March 3, 1877 Republican 43rd
(1873–1875)
Yes [15] [note 8]
44th
(1875–1877)
April 29, 1882 March 3, 1883 47th
(1881–1883)
Alonzo J. Ransier - Brady-Handy.jpg
Alonzo J. Ransier
(1834–1882)
South Carolina’s 2nd March 3, 1873 March 3, 1875 Republican 43rd
(1873–1875)
No [17] [note 9]
James Rapier.jpg
James T. Rapier
(1837–1883)
Alabama’s 2nd March 4, 1873 March 3, 1875 Republican 43rd
(1873–1875)
No [18] [note 10]
Jeremiah Haralson - Brady-Handy.jpg
Jeremiah Haralson
(1846–1916)
Alabama’s 1st March 4, 1875 March 3, 1877 Republican 44th
(1875–1877)
Yes [19] [note 11]
Rep. John Adams Hyman.jpg
John Adams Hyman
(1840–1891)
North Carolina’s 2nd March 4, 1875 March 3, 1877 Republican 44th
(1875–1877)
Yes [20] [note 12]
Charles E. Nash, MC (1875-77).jpg
Charles E. Nash
(1844–1913)
Louisiana’s 6th March 4, 1875 March 3, 1877 Republican 44th
(1875–1877)
No [21] [note 13]
Robert Smalls - Brady-Handy.jpg
Robert Smalls
(1839–1915)
South Carolina’s 5th March 4, 1875 March 3, 1879 Republican 44th
(1875–1877)
Yes [22] [note 14]
45th
(1877–1879)
July 19, 1882 March 3, 1883 47th
(1881–1883)
South Carolina’s 7th March 18, 1884 March 3, 1887 48th
(1883–1885)
49th
(1885–1887)
James E. O'Hara.jpg
James E. O’Hara
(1844–1905)
North Carolina’s 2nd March 4, 1883 March 3, 1887 Republican 48th
(1883–1885)
No [24] [note 15]
49th
(1885–1887)
Henry Plummer Cheatham.jpg
Henry P. Cheatham
(1857–1935)
North Carolina’s 2nd March 4, 1889 March 3, 1893 Republican 51st
(1889–1891)
Yes [25] [note 16]
52nd
(1891–1893)
John M. Langston.jpg
John Mercer Langston
(1829–1897)
Virginia’s 4th September 23, 1890 March 3, 1891 Republican 51st
(1889–1891)
No [26] [note 17]
Thomas Ezekiel Miller.jpg
Thomas E. Miller
(1849–1938)
South Carolina’s 7th September 24, 1890 March 3, 1891 Republican 51st
(1889–1891)
No [28] [note 18]
George Washington Murray.jpg
George W. Murray
(1853–1926)
South Carolina’s 7th March 4, 1893 March 3, 1895 Republican 53rd
(1893–1895)
Yes [30] [note 19]
South Carolina’s 1st June 4, 1896 March 3, 1897 54th
(1895–1897)
George Henry White.jpg
George Henry White
(1852–1918)
North Carolina’s 2nd March 4, 1897 March 3, 1901 Republican 55th
(1897–1899)
Yes [32] [note 2

 

 

Representative Congressional District Took office Left office Party Congress Ref. Note
Oscar Stanton De Priest.jpg
Oscar Stanton De Priest
(1871–1951)
Illinois’s 1st March 4, 1929 January 3, 1935 Republican 71st
(1929–1931)
[33] [note 21]
72nd
(1931–1933)
73rd
(1933–1935)
Arthur W. Mitchell.jpg
Arthur W. Mitchell
(1883–1968)
Illinois’s 1st January 3, 1935 January 3, 1943 Democratic 74th
(1935–1937)
[34] [note 22

 

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