Francis Lewis Cardozo is the first black person in the U.S. to be elected to a state-wide political position. He was sworn into office on July 22 1903. A former South Carolina secretary of state, Francis Lewis Cardozo was the first Black person in the U.S. elected to a state-wide political position.
Born on Jan. 1, 1837, to a free Black woman and a white father, Cardozo served as a minister and later worked for the American Missionary Association, an organization founded in 1865 by abolitionists who founded schools for freedmen, African-Americans and other minorities. The association led Cardozo to found the Avery Institute, Charleston’s first free secondary school for African-Americans. He died July 22, 1903 in Washington, D.C
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