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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesVirginia

John Mercer LANGSTON

(1829-1897)

LANGSTON, John Mercer, a Representative from Virginia; born in Louisa, Louisa County, Va., December 14, 1829; attended the common schools in Ohio; was graduated from the literary department of Oberlin College in 1849 and from the theological department in 1852; studied law in Elyria, Ohio; was admitted to the bar in 1854 and commenced practice in Oberlin, Ohio; took an active part in recruiting black troops during the Civil War, especially for the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts and Fifth Ohio Regiments; member of the council of Oberlin 1865-1867; member of the city board of education in 1867 and 1868; appointed inspector general of the Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands in 1868; moved to Washington, D.C., and practiced law; dean of the law department of Howard University 1869-1876; appointed and commissioned by President Grant a member of the Board of Health of the District of Columbia in 1871; appointed by President Hayes Minister Resident and consul general to Haiti and Chargé d’Affaires to Santo Domingo; elected vice president and acting president of Howard University in 1872; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876; returned to Virginia, having been elected president of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, Petersburg, Va., in 1885; delegate to the Republican State convention in 1890; successfully contested as a Republican the election of Edward C. Venable to the Fifty-first Congress and served from September 23, 1890, to March 3, 1891; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress; died in Washington, D.C., on November 15, 1897; interment in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Bibliography

”John Mercer Langston” in Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Adminstration by the Office of History & Preservation, U. S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2008; Langston, John Mercer. From Virginia Plantation to National Capitol. 1894. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1969.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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