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Joseph Hayne Rainey

Rainey, Joseph Hayne, 1832–87, first African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, b. Georgetown, S.C. The son of a free man, he fled to the West Indies during the Civil War. Returning to South Carolina, he served (1867–70) as a Republican in the state senate. In the U.S. House of Representatives (1870–79) he was a leader in the fight to secure civil rights for the newly freed slaves.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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