John Mercer Langston was born 5.5 miles N.W. of here on 14 Dec. 1829, son of plantation owner Ralph Quarles and his former slave Lucy Langston. A graduate of Oberlin College (1849), in 1855 Langston became township clerk of Brownhelm, Ohio--the first African American popularly elected to office. During the Civil War, he recruited regiments for the Union army. Afterward, he was founder and first dean of the Law Department of Howard University, served as minister resident in Haiti and chargé d'affaires in Santo Domingo, and was first president of what is now Virginia State University. In 1888 he became the first black congressman elected from Virginia. He died on 15 Nov. 1897 in Washington, D.C.
Geographic Location: Louisa County
Physical Description of Location: Louisa, VA 23093. Located on East Main Street (Hwy 33), less than 1/5 of a mile northwest of the junction of East Main Street (Hwy 33) and Fredericksburg Avenue. Marker is on the left when traveling northwest on East Main Street (Hwy 33).
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