Mississippi, February 25th, 1870
Today, as Hiram Rhodes Revels (an African Methodist Episcopal pastor and an educator by trade) entered the Senate chambers to take his oath of office, he was met by a applause. Mr. Revels has become the first African American to sit in United States Congress.
This step has been seen by his supporters as a "weakening blow against color line prejudice.” Mr. Revels has not just received the backing of his own party (Republicans) but also the opposing Democratic minority.
Speaking to the New World Sentinel, senior Republicans have noted that the Democrats see a black Senator as a "seed that will seriously damage the Republican Party and we will show that this is one of the blocks of equality, liberty and freedom our which our great Republic is built, one where every man has the same right and the same opportunities under God.”
Senator Revels who is a moderate Republican took the oath this afternoon and afterwords shared the following with the New World Sentinel;
“I find that the prejudice in this country to color is very great, and I sometimes fear that it is on the increase… If the nation should take a step for the encouragement of this prejudice against the colored race, can they have any grounds upon which to predicate a hope that Heaven will smile upon them and prosper them?”
New World Sentinel