List of Known African-American Employees, 1800s: Headquarters Employees, Railway Mail Service Employees, U.S. Mail Carriers, Contractors, and Others


List of Known African-American Employees at Post Office Department Headquarters in Washington, D.C., 1800s

Employee

Title(s)

By

To About

Abrahams, Horace B.

Laborer, Blank Agency; Watchman

circa 1877

1885

Anderson, Gillespie B. 

Messenger, Blank Agency; Clerk

circa 1877

1885

Archer, Wyatt

Assorter, then Clerk, Auditor of the Treasury

1879

1881

Barnes, Joseph T.

Laborer, Blank Agency

7/10/1878

1881

Beckley, Rosier D.

Temporary Clerk; Clerk

circa 1875

1881

Black, William H. 

Clerk

1881

1887

Bond, John H.

Laborer, Blank Agency; Asst Messenger

1881

1887

Branson, John W.

Laborer

circa 1875

1887

Brown, Abraham Lincoln

Messenger

1897

1897

Bruce, H. C. 

Asst Messenger

7/30/1881

1882

Camper, H. G.

Laborer, Blank Agency

12/31/1880

1883

Cardoza, Francis L.

Clerk, Auditor of Treasury

1879

1883

Carroll, David

Laborer, Blank Agency

1881

1883

Clark(e), Daniel

Laborer; Fireman

12/8/1876

1911 or later

Coleman, W. G.

Laborer, Blank Agency; Clerk

1881

1885

Cromwell, John W.

Clerk, Auditor of Treasury

1879

1883

Crowner, John A. 

Asst Messenger; Messenger, Blank Agency; Laborer

4/30/1881

1887

Davis, Nathaniel

Temporary Laborer; Laborer

7/30/1881

1885

Green, John P.

Postage Stamp Agent

8/2/1897

circa 1905

Hamilton, John

Temporary Messenger; Laborer

circa 1871

1887

Hamlet, George B.[1]

Chief Postal Inspector

8/3/1897

11/25/1898

Hardy, Daniel

Laborer, Blank Agency; Asst Messenger

1879

1889

Howard, Wesley

Laborer; Asst Messenger

circa 1871

1901

Hughes, Philip

Temporary, Blank Agency; Laborer

1879

1889

Jackson, Richard J.

Laborer, Blank Agency

6/4/1881

1881

Janefer, James Edward

Watchman, Blank Agency; Laborer

circa 1875

1889

Jasper, James L.

Laborer, Blank Agency; Mail Messenger Service 

12/30/1876

1895

Jones, Algernon S.

Laborer, Blank Agency; Asst Messenger

12/1/1880

1885

Kell(e)y, Nicholas

Messenger, Blank Agency; Asst Messenger

circa 1877

1899

Kennedy, James

Postal Inspector

circa 1882

2/1884

King, Mortimer

Laborer, Blank Agency

5/22/1876

1881

Lee, Ella P.

Temp. Employee, Auditor of Treasury

1880

1881

Levitt, Robert

Laborer, Blank Agency; Laborer

6/26/1874

1885

Lightfoot, Henry

Laborer, Blank Agency

11/1/1881

1883

Lowry, Alfred

Watchman, Division of Topographer

12/1/1880

1885

Marshall, Lewis W.

Laborer, Blank Agency

1879

1885

Matthews, William E.

Clerk

1879

1881

Mays, J. W.

Laborer

4/19/1881

1882

McKenney, Charles M.

Laborer, Blank Agency; Watchman, Office of PMG

7/1/1880

1911 or later

Moore, Henry

Temporary, Blank Agency; Laborer

1879

1885

Morrison, Solomon N. 

Laborer; Clerk

circa 1873

1893

Myers, Isaac

Postal Inspector

3/7/1870

1879

Page, Horace

Laborer

circa 1873

1885

Parker, James H. S.

Laborer, Blank Agency; Clerk

circa 1877

1881

Parris, George W.

Temporary Laborer, then Watchman

1877

1880

Plummer, Henry V.

Laborer; Watchman

circa 1871

1883

Proctor, George

Driver, Mail Wagon

5/1892

2/1893

Ridgley, Mrs. Eliza

Laborer

circa 1869

1885

Robinson, Edward J.

Assistant Messenger; Clerk

circa 1871

1889

Ross, James

Temporary, Blank Agency; Asst Messenger

2/17/1881

1911 or later

Ross, Traverse

Laborer, Blank Agency; Asst Messenger; Usher; Custodian of Seal; Clerk

circa 1877

1907

Smith, Henry C.

Watchman, Division of Topographer; Watchman

circa 1873

1883

Smith, William

Laborer; Asst Messenger

1881

1885

Sprigg, Richard

Laborer, Blank Agency

11/29/1880

1881

Stevenson, Hannibal A. 

Laborer, Blank Agency;  Asst Messenger

ca. 1875

1887

Thornley, George W. 

Messenger, Blank Agency; Assistant Messenger; Clerk

7/24/1874

1887

Trice, Washington S.

Laborer, Blank Agency

12/31/1877

1887

Walker, John

Laborer, Blank Agency; Asst Messenger

7/1/1880

1893

Waring, William

Clerk, Auditor of Treasury

1879

1895

Williams, H. H. 

Asst Messenger

10/22/1881

1882

Wood, Abram

Laborer, Blank Agency

1881

1885

Young, Samuel

Laborer, Blank Agency

1877

1881

List of Known African-American Railway Mail Service Employees, 1800s[2]

Employee

Title(s) [3]

Route or City/State

By

To about

Belcher, Lucius C.

Route Agent

Augusta to Macon GA

10/18/1870

1897

Boyd, Henry

Mail Route Messenger; Railway Postal Clerk

Selma AL to Pine Apple MS; Selma AL to Meridian MS; Selma to Mobile AL; Birmingham to Mobile AL; Montgomery to Selma AL

1873

 

1911 or later

Chesnut(t), Dallas

Mail Route Messenger; Route Agent

Weldon to Wilmington NC

1873

1901

Childs, John W.

Railway Postal Clerk

New York NY to Pittsburgh PA

2/6/1880

1889

Clay, Henry

Local Agent

Indianapolis IN

9/4/1877

1889

Cox, Wayne W.

Railway Postal Clerk

Birmingham AL to Greenville MS

6/30/1890

1905

Crump, John K.[4]

Route Agent

Saint Louis MO to Little Rock AR

5/21/1878

1891

Davis, William H.

Mail Route Messenger

Athens to Belton GA

1877

1880

DeJarnette, Robert W.

Route Agent

Montgomery AL to New Orleans LA

10/30/1869

1/28/1888

Duke, Jesse C.[5]

Railway Postal Clerk

Montgomery to Selma AL

1883

1885

Few, Julius Caisar

Route Agent; Mail Route Messenger

DuPont to Albany GA

1/20/1875

6/15/1886

Fordham, John H.

Route Agent

Wilmington NC to Charleston SC

2/12/1877

12/24/1887

Gibson, John

Route Agent

Raleigh NC to Norfolk VA

3/9/1875

6/1/1886

Gibson, William H.[6]

Route Agent

Louisville KY to Cincinnati OH

1871

1871

Goldsby, Joseph H.

Route Agent

Selma to Montgomery AL

1875

7/30/1885

Gray, James H.

Local Agent

Evansville IN

1877

1887

Handy, W. H.

Railway Postal Clerk

Pittsburgh PA

1880

1883

Holcombe, Charles B.

Route Agent

Richmond VA to Charlotte NC

1/21/1880

1905

Holloway, John

Route Agent

Wilmington to Charlotte NC

1875

1881

Iney, Thomas

Route Agent

Alabama, route unknown

1874

9/1874

Jackson, Thomas A.

Route Agent

Minneapolis MN to Sparta WI

1875

1881

James, C. C.

Railway Postal Clerk

Kansas City MO to Pueblo CO

1879

6/25/1886

Jones, Carter L.

Route Agent

Norfolk to Lynchburgh VA

1875

1881

Jones, Henry

Route Agent

Macon to Brunswick GA

1875

1883

Kelso, Samuel L.

Local Agent

Lynchburg VA

1871

1880

Kennedy, Henry B.

Route Agent

Charlotte NC to Augusta GA

6/19/1874

3/11/1887

Lightbourn, A. C.

Route Agent; Mail Route Messenger

Live Oak to Chattahoochee FL

1875

7/23/1885

McCary, Robert

Route Agent

Indianapolis to Vincennes IN

1875

1881

Montgomery, Norman

Route Agent

Wilmington NC to Charleston SC

11/10/1876

1911 or later

Parks, William

Local Agent

Indianapolis IN

1877

1885

Pleasant, Louis M. 

Route Agent; Mail Route Messenger

Dupont to Albany GA

1869

1881

Pleasants, William H.

Mail Route Messenger

Lynchburg to Danville VA

1875

10/14/1885

Randolph, John Jr.

Route Agent

Goldsborough to Morehead City NC

3/28/1870

7/8/1886

Scott, Rudolph B.

Route Agent

Chicago to Danville IL

1879

1880

Sherman, John H.

Mail Route Messenger

Jacksonville to Chattahoochee FL

1874

1881

Simmons, Caesar

Route Agent

Mobile AL to Meridian MS

2/20/1875

5/6/1885

Stevens, Alfred T.

Route Agent

Wilmington NC to Charleston SC

1877

1879

Stevens, W. N.[7]

Route Agent

Lynchburg to Norfolk VA

1872

1872

Stuart, William A.

Railway Postal Clerk

East Radford VA to Kenova WV

12/10/1892

3/2/1896

Taylor, John E.

Route Agent

Wilmington to Charlotte NC

1877

1880

Thompson, Jacob

Route Agent

Florence to Columbia SC

1/25/1876

1911 or later

Walker, James H.

Local Agent

Terre Haute IN

1875

3/24/1886

Wallace, Charles S.

Route Agent

Little Rock to Van Buren AR

6/6/1878

5/14/1885

Wallace, George

Route Agent

Macon to Brunswick GA

1877

3/18/1886

Wallace, Moses R.

Railway Postal Clerk

Richmond VA to Charlotte NC

1880

7/26/1886

Washington, Abram T.

Route Agent

Mobile AL to Meridian MS

1/25/1873

1903

White, Richard H.

Route Agent

Savannah to Millen GA

1875

1881

Williamson, Scott

Route Agent

Greenville to Columbia MS

1875

1887

List of Known African-American U.S. Mail Carriers, Contractors, and Others, 1800s[8]

Name

Position

City

State

By

To about

Clayton, Sol

U.S. Mail Carrier

Clayton

AL

1880

unknown

King, Norris

U.S. Mail Carrier

Clayton

AL

1880

unknown

Gilbert, Bragg

U.S. Mail Carrier

(Franklin Co.)

AL

1880

unknown

Holnus, John

U.S. Mail Carrier

Helena

AR

1880

unknown

Murry, Anderson

U.S. Mail Rider

Red Fork

AR

1880

unknown

Patterson, C.

U.S. Mail Carrier

Brevard

FL

1880

unknown

Wright, Peter

U.S. Mail Carrier

Brevard

FL

1880

unknown

Martin, William

U.S. Mail Carrier

Lake City

FL

1880

unknown

Edwards, Nelson/Ned

Mail Messenger

Tallahasee

FL

1879

1881

Mack, Henry

U.S. Mail Carrier

Waynesboro

GA

1880

unknown

Branch, Nathan

Messenger

Evanston

IL

1891

at least 1899

Bowen, Alexander

Mail Messenger

Forrest Hill

MS

1877

1881

Wright, Clemm

U.S. Mail Carrier

Sardis

MS

1880

unknown

Strickland, Calvin

U.S. Mail Carrier

Raleigh

NC

1880

unknown

Hoopes, Gabriel

U.S. Mail Carrier

River

NC

1880

unknown

Oates, Joseph

U.S. Mail Sub-Contractor

Shelby

NC

1880

unknown

Griffin, Robert

U.S. Mail Carrier

Conwayboro

SC

1880

unknown

Atkinson, Frank

U.S. Mail Driver

Georgetown

SC

1880

unknown

Morgan, Anthony

U.S. Mail Carrier

Marion

SC

1880

unknown

Bowden, Henry

U.S. Mail Carrier

Henderson

TX

1880

unknown

Walker, John

U.S. Mail Carrier

Hicksford

VA

1880

unknown

Johnson, James D.

Mail Route Contractor, Route # 4466

Petersburg

VA

1871

circa 1875

Lewis, Fleming

U.S. Mail Carrier

Saint Peters

VA

1880

unknown


[1] George B. Hamlet was appointed as a regular inspector on May 19, 1897, and as Inspector-In-Charge of Washington Division on July 8, 1897; he was demoted back to a regular inspector November 25, 1898, and resigned on August 18, 1900, while under investigation.

[2] The Railway Mail Service employees listed may have also worked in other capacities and on routes other than those noted.  Further information on these individuals may be available at the National Archives and Records Administration in the records of the Railway Mail Service, part of the Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group 28.

[3] Initially, Railway Mail Service route agents sorted and distributed pouches of mail en route, mail route messengers performed a similar function on shorter runs, and local agents were stationed at railroad crossings and in larger towns to receive pouches of mail delivered by train and sort them for connecting railroad lines and nearby Post Offices.  By 1878, the distinctions in job function had blurred; beginning in 1882, all employees of the Railway Mail Service were called railway postal clerks. 

[4] John K. Crump previously served as a clerk at the Saint Louis Post Office.

[5] Jesse C. Duke previously served as a clerk at the Selma Post Office.

[6] According to the February 1, 1871, issue of The New York Times, William H. Gibson was assaulted by the KKK a few days after his transfer from the Lebanon Branch Railroad to the Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati line.

[7] W. N. Stevens may not have served.

[8] The U.S. Mail carriers/riders/drivers/sub-contractors listed do not appear in postal records; they were likely employed by mail contractors.  Information on these employees was found in the 1880 federal census.

 

HISTORIAN
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
JULY 2010