Martin Robison Delaney
May 6, 1812 - Jan. 24, 1885
Catherine A. (Richards) Delaney
Oct. 10, 1822 - July 11, 1894
Placido Rameses Delaney
1862 - 1910
Faustin Soulouque Delaney
1859 - 1912
Ethiopia Hallie Amelia Delaney
1864 - 1920
The son of an enslaved father and free Black mother,
Martin Delaney became one of the most prominent
Black leaders in 19th Century America. Of direct
African lineage, the "Father of Black Nationalism"
promoted Black pride and self-determination.
Delaney was born May 6, 1812 in
Charles Town, in present day West
Virginia. Because it was illegal
for Blacks to be educated there, his
mother moved the family to
Pennsylvania. Delaney studied
medicine, founded a newspaper,
"The Mystery," and advocated rights
for African Americans and women.
He co-edited "The North Star" with
abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Delaney risked his life as a leader in the
Underground Railroad, established to assist
the enslaved on their flight to freedom. In
1859 Delaney traveled to Africa in an attempt
to secure a homeland for Black Americans.
As the United States moved toward Civil War,
believed a Union victory would end
slavery. He recruited Black troops and met
with President Lincoln to propose a strategy
for winning the war with Black officers
leading Black soldiers.
Delaney was commissioned a Major, the
highest ranking Black field officer in the Union
Army. He later served in the Freedman's
Bureau to protect the rights of the formerly
enslaved. He moved to Wilberforce, Ohio in
1864 to provide his children a quality
education. As an abolitionist, physician, leader
in Prince Hall Freemasonry, politician, judge,
and writer. Delaney fought to achieve justice and
equality for all Americans of African descent.