Scope and arrangement
Hiram Rhoades Revels served as a clergyman, first African American appointed to become a United States senator from a southern state during Reconstruction, and college president. He was born free in Fayetteville, North Carolina where he received his early education, and continued his studies at a Quaker seminary in Ohio, later graduating from Knox College in Galesburg (1857). Revels' birth date is unclear as published sources indicate 1821 while his daughter's autobiography of him gives the year 1827. In 1845 Revels was ordained a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore. He served A.M.E. congregations in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Texas and elsewhere. From 1858 to 1863 he was the first African American pastor of the Madison Street Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. He served briefly as a chaplain in the Union Army, helped the Freedmen's Bureau set up schools in Mississippi, and assisted the provost marshall in managing the affairs of the freedmen in Vicksburg.|||The Hiram Revels Collection consists principally of a scrapbook of news clippings in addition to biographicl articles about Revels. The scrapbook (1870-1893) discusses Revels as a senator, pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and president of Alcorn University, describes local events and contains homilies and miscellany. There are also some letters written to Revels and a couple of programs and invitations.|||The collection also includes several letters Revels wrote to his family (1870-1900), a biographical sketch written about him in the first person which appears to have been written by his daughter, Susie; a typescript of an obituary of Revels; and legal papers regarding settlement of his estate. There are also letters soliciting information about Revels from Hermann R. Muelder of Knox College who planned to write an article about Revels. Obituaries of his daughter, Susie Revels Cayton, complete the collection.