Jeramiah Haralson, House of Representatives   Leave a comment

Jeremiah Haralson (April 1, 1846–1916), was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama.

 Early life and education

Born on a plantation near Columbus, Georgia, he was raised as a slave and was self-educated. He moved to Alabama and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He became a minister.

  Political life

He was the first black member of the State House of Representatives in 1870; served in the State Senate in 1872. Supposedly Haralson was a candidate for congress in 1868, this being alleged by Christopher in America’s Black Congressmen, however the official results do not list him as a candidate in the 1868 Alabama congressional elections. He would however have been running in the Alabama First District, which reported 100% of votes for one candidate, so they may have done a primary previously which may be where he ran and was eliminated.[1] Haralson was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877). As a member of congress he sought for general amnesty for former confederates to help create harmony between blacks and whites.

In 1876 Haralson ran for reelection. Due to redistricting Haralson was now in the 4th congressional district. This was also the residence of former congressman James T. Rapier. This was the only district in which black population was overwhelming enough to allow for the election of a Black Republican to congress. Both Haralson and Rapier felt they should be the one to be elected to congress. Rapier won the Republican nomination but Haralson ran as an independent. Haralson received 33.93% of the vote, more than Rapier did, but less than the Democratic candidate Charles M. Shelley.

Haralson made another run against Shelley in 1878. He received 42.57% of the vote. This was only 6,545 votes, as opposed to the 8,675 he had received two years before, indicating that the end of reconstruction had seen a major decrease in voting.

Haralson was appointed to a Federal position in the United States customhouse in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1872 he had come out very strongly against the Liberal Republicans and in favor of U. S. Grant. His pro-Grant stance had caused him to have disputes with P. B. S. Pinchback, the African American governor of Louisiana, who served for thirty days.

He was later employed as a clerk at the Department of the Interior; appointed on August 12, 1882 to the Pension Bureau in Washington, D.C.; he resigned on August 21, 1884.

He moved to Louisiana, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and from there to Arkansas in 1904, where he served as pension agent for a short time. He returned to Alabama and settled in Selma in 1912.


  Personal life

Jeremiah Haralson’s family tree is as follows George Haralson – son. George Haralson married Ella Johnson and had nine children. D.L Haralson, H.T. Haralson, Susie Haralson, Lessie Haralson, Creeda Haralson, Tommy J. Haralson Sr., Ellis Haralson, St. Joseph Haralson, Anthony Haralson, all of the state of Mississippi. He is the great-great grandfather of Charles Woodson of the NFL Green Bay Packers.


  Later life and death

Haralson moved to Texas and later to Oklahoma and Colorado; he was a coal miner in Colorado and was killed and eaten by wild animals near Denver, Colorado circa 1916. He is the only member of the U.S. Congress to have died in such a manner


Posted February 19, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Uncategorized

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