"The Old Flag Never Touched the Ground:" Sergeant William H. Carney Jr. Story Map

When President Abraham Lincoln called for the raising of African American regiments during the U.S. Civil War, Black men from around the country traveled to Boston to enlist with the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. This story map highlights the experiences of Sergeant William H. Carney Jr., one of the men who joined this historic regiment and continued to serve his community throughout his life. To explore additional stories, visit A Brave Black Regiment: The 54th Massachusetts.

Following his escape from slavery in the 1850s, William H. Carney Jr. began his new life in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Heeding President Lincoln's call for Black soldiers in 1863, he joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, one of the first Black fighting units in the Civil War. During the 54th's gallant assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, Carney saved the regiment's flag. For his actions, Carney became the first African American recipient of the Medal of Honor. Respected around the nation, he dedicated the rest of his life to family, community, and public service.

Explore the story map below to learn about Sergeant William H. Carney Jr.'s service during the Civil War and his contributions to his community after the war. Click "Get Started" to enter the map. To read more about each point, click "More" or scroll to view the map, historical images, and accompanying text. To navigate between the points, please use the "Next Stop" button at the bottom of the slides or the arrows on either side of the main image. To view a larger version of the main image depicted below the map, click on the image.

William H. Carney Jr.

February 29, 1840-December 9, 1908

Follow Sergeant William H. Carney Jr.'s journey from enslavement to becoming the first African American recipient of the Medal of Honor.

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William H. Carney Jr.

February 29, 1840-December 9, 1908

Follow Sergeant William H. Carney Jr.'s journey from enslavement to becoming the first African American recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Black and white drawing of Norfolk, Virginia harbor. Various ships are sailing across the water with buildings lining the coastlines.William Carney Jr. grew up in the coastal town of Norfolk, Virginia. (Credit: Charles Magnus, Library of Congress)

1840: Norfolk, Virginia

Born enslaved in 1840, William Carney Jr. grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. Though not much is known about his early life, he later stated that at age fourteen:

when I had no work to do, I attended a private and secret school kept in Norfolk by a minister. In my fifteen year I embraced the gospel; at that time I was also engaged in the coasting trade with my father.[1]

His father, William Carney Sr., also enslaved, had been hired out for many years and supported his family through oystering. After the death of his enslaver, Sarah Twine, in 1857, Carney Sr. escaped to the North. Twine had promised Carney Sr. and others their freedom upon her death but never formalized it. This left them at the mercy of the auction block.

Carney Sr. escaped to Philadelphia where he sought the assistance of William Still, the prominent Underground Railroad activist. Still wrote that Carney Sr.:

knew of no other way of escape than the Underground Rail Road...The first ties to be severed were those which bound him to his wife and children...His family were slaves, and bore the following names: his wife, Nancy, and children, Simon Henry, William, Sarah, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Louis, and Cornelius. It was no light matter to bid them farewell forever. The separation from them was a trial such as rarely falls to the lot of mortals; but he nerved himself for the undertaking, and when the hour arrived his strength was sufficient for the occasion.[2]

William Carney Sr. eventually made his way to New Bedford, Massachusetts. Working with several ministers in New Bedford and Norfolk, he successfully purchased the freedom of his wife Nancy who joined him in 1859. Several of their children followed by 1863.

Their eldest son, William Carney Jr., appears to have made his way to freedom earlier.[3]

Black and white photograph of a street scene in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A cobblestone street runs through the middle with buildings on either side and pedestrians and horse drawn carriages on the sidewalk and street.Carney Jr. lived in New Bedford, Massachusetts after escaping slavery. (Credit: New Bedford Free Public Library)

Late 1850s: New Bedford, Massachusetts

William Carney Jr.’s path to New Bedford remains unclear. In 1863, following his heroic service with the 54th Regiment, one of his commanders asked him to write about his early life to share with Massachusetts Governor John Andrew. Although he spelled out his father’s escape in great detail, Carney Jr. simply stated about himself that “In 1856, I left the sea for a time.”[4] Historian Kathryn Grover cites a Standard article that said Carney Jr. “confiscated himself” and came to New Bedford soon after his mother arrived in the city in 1859. In addition to the vagueness about his own path to freedom in the letter for the governor, Carney Jr. also told a different story about how his mother gained her freedom and even used a different last name for her. Grover, however, suggests that “with the outcome of the war highly uncertain, Carney probably lied to conceal his true status, as other fugitives in the regiment also did.”[5]

Whatever his route to Massachusetts, once in New Bedford, Carney said “he remained in the city with the family, pursuing the avocation of a jobber of work for stores, and at such places as I could find employment.” He also found community in a local church and considered a career in the ministry. However, with the raising of Black regiments in 1863 during the Civil War, Carney found another calling.

In his own words:

Previous to the formation of colored troops, I had a strong inclination to prepare myself for the ministry; but when the country called for all persons, I could best serve my God by serving my country and my oppressed brothers. The sequel is short – I enlisted for the war.[6]
Birds eye view of Camp Meigs, a military camp in Readville, Massachusetts. An American flag is raised in the middle, with white tents lined around the grounds, soldiers and horses throughout, and trees in the background.Camp Meigs served as the training camp for the 54th Regiment. (Credit: F. Moras, Library of Congress)

March 1863: Camp Meigs, Readville, Massachusetts

In February 1863, Carney enlisted in the military for a three year term along with many other men from New Bedford. According to the Boston Herald:

The company recruited by Lieut. [James W.] Grace in New Bedford for the 54th (colored) regiment left that city for the camp at Readville yesterday afternoon...It has been decided to call the company the “Morgan Guards,” in compliment to S. Griffiths Morgan, Esq., who has been active in raising it.”[7]

They joined other recruits for training at Camp Meigs in Readville, MA. According to 54th Regiment officer and later historian Louis Emilio:

Temporarily the recruits took the name of “Morgan Guards,” in recognition of the kindnesses from S. Griffiths Morgan. At camp the New Bedford men, - some seventy five in number, - with others from that place and elsewhere, became Company C, the representative Massachusetts company.[8]

While at camp, however, Company C quickly changed its name. According to the Boston Semi-Advertiser, “The company of men for the 54th (colored) now in camp at Readville, who have been recruited by Lieut. Grace, are to be known as the Toussaint Guards.”[9] They named themselves after Tousaint L’Ouverture, leader of the Haitian Revolution. Historian Matthew J. Clavin argues that while one newspaper suggested the name change came at the urging of S. Griffiths Morgan, their previous namesake, “there is reason to believe the soldiers themselves were responsible.” While the men certainly knew about the Haitian revolution, they also had access to Black newspapers and activists who discussed the significance and connections of the Haitian revolution to their own struggles in the United States.[10]

On March 30th while in Readville, Carney received the promotion to Sergeant.[11]

Black and white drawing of Confederate and Union soldiers engaged in combat with their weapons. A Black soldier holds an American flag that has the words "54th Mass" written across it.The 54th Regiment engaged in combat at Fort Wagner. (Credit: Currier & Ives, Library of Congress)

July 18, 1863: Fort Wagner, Charleston, South Carolina

The 54th left Boston for the front in May 1863. Soon after arriving in the South, Carney recalled that they:

made a successful raid to Darien, capturing a lot of supplies—vessels—loaded with cotton and cattle and the city itself. Thence we proceeded to James Island, S.C., staying only four days, during which time we were engaged with the rebels and successfully repulsed them. Thence the charge and attack on Fort Wagner.”[12]

Given the opportunity to lead the initial assault on Fort Wagner, the strategic and symbolic stronghold guarding Charleston, the 54th gladly accepted the dangerous mission despite their exhaustion. General Strong addressed the men just before they launched their attack:

“Is there a man here who thinks himself unable to sleep in that fort tonight?” The earth rang with the thunder of their “No!” Turning to the color-bearer, he said: “Is there any man to take his place if this brave color-bearer should fall?” With lifting of hands, and leaping, and almost yelling, all through the enthusiastic ranks, came the response, “Yes! Yes!!”[13]

“When all was ready,” wrote J.W. Grace, “we rose up and with a tremendous yell we rushed on to the fort. The enemy opened on us with grape and canister; also 3,000 muskets concentrated right on one place, which was very narrow, where we were obliged to cross. Our men fell like grass before a sickle.”[14]

Black and white newspaper drawing of Sergeant Carney carrying the American flag with several people lying on the ground around him. A small group is standing in the background, with smoke around them. Caption reads: Sergeant Carney with the flag on the ramparts of Fort WagnerSergeant Carney bravely marched with the American flag in the midst of battle. (Credit: Boston Journal)

July 18, 1863: Fort Wagner, Charleston, South Carolina

In Carney’s own words:

As we made the rush for the fort embankment, I suddenly saw the old flag fall. I don’t know what prompted me, but I threw my gun away and grasped the staff of the fallen colors, and ran for the head of the column...the fire of the rebels was something terrible and men fell around me on every hand...I found myself near the top of the embankment, all alone...It was useless to further attempt to advance, and dropping on my knees among the dead, I sought to lie as low as possible. But I planted the hilt of the staff in the sand and never let it drag in the dust...Wrapping the colors around the staff, I cautiously picked my way among the dead and dying...As I mounted the incline a musket ball shattered my leg. Still I could crawl... At the summit an officer came to my assistance, “Let me carry the color for you,” he said. “No. sir,” I replied. “I will never give up these colors to any man unless he belongs to the 54th Massachusetts.” So we struggled on, and in a moment I received my second wound, a fragment of a shell struck me in the head, but it did not render me unconscious. With the assistance of my comrade, I managed to crawl along till we came to our own lines, and at length delivered the flag into the hands of Lieut. Johnson and a squad of our own men. You can imagine the cheer they gave me as they saw the old flag. It made me feel like a new man, and in my enthusiasm I shouted: “The old flag never touched the ground.”[15]

One observer wrote that the “moment he [Carney] was seen crawling into the hospital with the flag still in his possession, his wounded companions, both black and white, rose from the straw upon which they were lying and cheered him until exhausted they could shout no longer.”[16]

For saving the flag, despite the tremendous risk to his own safety, Carney received the Gilmore Medal of Meritorious Award, and later became the first African American awarded the Medal of Honor.[17]

Carney became a renown hero for his actions at Fort Wagner and for his immortal words, “The old flag never touched the ground.” His multiple wounds proved serious, however, and he spent the next several months in a hospital in Beaufort, South Carolina.[18]

A three story Greek Revival style building that was the home of Dr. Joseph Johnson at 411 Craven Street, Beaufort, South Carolina. "The Castle," as it was later called, was used as a hospital for contraband slaves. A group of people stand on the lower level portico.Sergeant Carney recovered at this hospital before returning to New Bedford. (Credit: Samuel A. Cooley, Library of Congress)

1860s: New Bedford, Massachusetts

Carney returned to New Bedford on furlough in December 1863. The local newspaper reported that he “has recovered sufficiently to go about with the aid of a crutch.”[19] Carney officially received his discharge from the military on June 20, 1864 and began to build his post-war life and family in New Bedford.

He married Susanna Williams, also a native of Norfolk, VA, on October 11, 1865. Their marriage record lists his occupation as “trader.”[20] In 1866, he began serving as Superintendent of Street Lamps for New Bedford. Carney held this municipal position for several years.[21] Additionally, he became involved in his church and community. According to a descendant, Carney “was one of the founders of one of the early Black churches in New Bedford...known now as the Union Baptist Church.” He also served as choir master and joined civic and fraternal organizations such as the Odd Fellows.[22]

Carney always remembered his war service and those who fought alongside him. He dedicated much of his time to various veteran organizations and commemorative events.

He also used his reputation as a respected war hero to push for political change. For example, in the 1865 Fourth of July celebration at New Bedford, Carney “carried a banner with the motto, ‘The hand that holds the musket should have the ballot.’”[23] In 1867, he addressed a crowd at the African Civilization Building in Brooklyn on “Reconstruction and the Right of Suffrage.” The Brooklyn Union said Carney “is now adding to his fame as an advocate of civil and political rights.”[24]

Black and white image of a birds eye view of San Francisco, California, looking towards North Beach from Russian Hill. Buildings are in the forefront, with the water and a few ships in the back.Carney lived in San Francisco for a few years. (Credit: Lawrence & Houseworth Collection, Library of Congress)

Late 1860s: San Francisco, California

In July 1869, the New Bedford Evening Standard reported that “Sergt. William H. Carney returned from California about two weeks ago.”[25] Though not much is known about Carney’s time in California, according to one of his family descendants:

Then for a short period, he went to California.... There were several efforts for the gold rush. He was looking for some gold at that time, the story is told...My grandmother. She was always telling me that there were several things in my other great aunt's, her sister's house, that... were so beautiful. She told me that my uncle brought those things back from California when he went out there for the gold rush... they were Japanese things. There were teapots. There were stands for umbrellas that were decorated. He went to San Francisco. Japanese imports around that time were heavy...He didn't make as much as he had hoped. He was gone about two or three years. And was sending money back and forth to his family at the time.”[26]
Photograph of wooden house with a small staircase leading to the front door, and multiple windows on the front and side.Carney's New Bedford home on 128 Mill Street. (Credit: John Phelan)

1869: 128 Mill Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Following his return to New Bedford in 1869, Carney became a letter carrier in the United States Postal Service, a position he held for the next 32 years.[27] Carrie Lee Blanchet, a family friend, remembered him as a dedicated and diligent worker “reporting to work each morning at six and working until deliveries were completed, often until seven or eight at night.”[28]

He and his wife welcomed their daughter, Clara, in June 1876. They lived at 128 Mill Street. According to Blanchet: “A lover of the beautiful, Carney’s hobbies were collecting china and making and listening to music. Most of his life he was a chorister” and “educated his daughter at the New England Conservatory of Music.”[29]

In addition to his family and profession, Carney continued to play an integral role in various community and political organizations as well as veteran associations and celebrations. Historian David Blight wrote, “as wider religious and fraternal organizations adopted him as their symbol, he became, along with Robert Smalls, the closest thing to a national black war hero from the Civil War.”[30]

He became an officer in a “new post of the Grand be named for the colonel of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts volunteers, Robert G. Shaw.”[31]

Black and white photograph of members of the Grand Army of the Republic Post 1 standing in front of a building with white columns. All men are dressed in uniform.

Grand Army of the Republic Post 1, standing outside New Bedford City Hall. Sgt. Carney is in the third row, second from left. (Credit: New Bedford Free Public Library)

In 1872, he served as an officer in the [Ulysses S.] Grant Club which denounced “the Democratic party as wholly opposed to the rights of colored men.”[32] At a multi-day reunion of Black soldiers in Boston in 1887, Carney served as Chief Marshal of the parade. He then addressed the large crowd of veterans at Tremont Temple who “wildly cheered” for him.[33]

In the 1890s and into the early years of the new century, Carney remained a featured guest and speaker at numerous civic events in New Bedford, Boston, and elsewhere. For example, he spoke at events commemorating the Boston Massacre, the Flag Centennial at Faneuil Hall, Patriots and Memorial Day gatherings, Baptist Conventions, and Odd Fellows meetings, among others.[34]

54th Regiment marching in rows by the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial.Veterans of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments attended the dedication ceremony of the Robert Gould Shaw/54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial. (Credit: Massachusetts Historical Society)

May 31, 1897: Robert Gould Shaw/54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial, Boston, Massachusetts

On May 31st, 1897, Carney joined his fellow remaining members of the 54th and other veterans for the dedication ceremony of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ The Robert Gould Shaw/54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial in Boston. Carney marched in procession with other veterans of that famed unit and “faced and saluted the relief.” The artist Saint-Gaudens marked this powerful moment as “a consecration.”[35]

Carney also memorably played a role at the event held at Boston Music Hall as part of the dedication ceremonies. Booker T. Washington served as a keynote speaker and later wrote about Carney’s spontaneous participation at the gathering:

This flag Sergeant Carney held in his hands as he sat on the platform, and when I turned to address the survivors of the coloured regiment who were present, and referred to Sergeant Carney, he rose, as if by instinct, and raised the flag. It has been my privilege to witness a good many satisfactory and rather sensational demonstrations in connection with some of my public addresses, but in dramatic effect I have never seen or experienced anything which equaled this. For a number of minutes the audience seemed to entirely lose control of itself.[36]
Section of an atlas of Back Bay, with small rectangle of building #227 highlighted and the rest of the map darkened.Carney roomed at 227 West Canton St. in Boston while working at the State House. (Credit: George Washington Bromley and Walter Scott Bromley, Digital Commonwealth)

1901: 227 West Canton Street, Boston, Massachusetts

Following his retirement from the Post Office, Carney became Messenger to the Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a position once held by abolitionist Lewis Hayden.

On October 1, 1901, the Boston Herald reported:

Col. Robert G. Shaw’s famous regiment, the 54th Massachusetts infantry, which is already represented on Beacon Hill by the Shaw memorial by St. Gaudens on Beacon street, and by its tattered battle flags in Memorial Hall, is shortly to have still another representative at the State House, in the person of the veteran who carried the colors at Fort Wagner and fell, desperately wounded, on the parapet – Sergt. William H. Carney, who has recently been appointed a messenger in the office of the secretary of the commonwealth.”[37]

Family friend Carrie Lee Blanchet later wrote:

There for seven years he worked in sight of the Saint Gaudens monument which immortalizes not only the patrician Robert Gould Shaw and his intrepid colored troops, but likewise Sergeant Carney...Perhaps he used to go sometimes to see the flag he bore, unsullied, to safety, enshrined in Memorial Hall, where all who view it are requested to take off their hats.”[38]

Based on Boston City Directories, Carney appears to have roomed at 227 West Canton Street in the city when performing his duties as an employee at the State House.[39]

Black and white photograph of the Massachusetts State House from Beacon Street. Building is adorned with decorative flags. A few pedestrians are on the sidewalk, and a small number of cars are on the street.Carney suffered injuries from an elevator accident at the State House. (Credit: Leon Abdalian, Digital Commonwealth)

1908: Massachusetts State House, Boston, Massachusetts

While serving as messenger in the State House in 1908, Carney sustained a horrific leg injury in an elevator accident that ultimately claimed his life.[40]

The Boston Globe reported that: “The old colored soldier has been one of the most courteous and popular of the attaches at the state house, and the news of the injury was heard with profound regret.”[41]

He died on December 9th, 1908 at City Hospital “from injuries received on November 23, when his leg was crushed in an elevator accident at the State House.”[42]

Grave of Sergeant William H. Carney, with birth and death dates, and "Medal of Honor" inscribed.Gravesite of Sergeant William H. Carney in New Bedford. (Credit: New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park)

1908: Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Massachusetts

In a testament to Carney’s reach, following his death, the Boston Globe wrote:

Sergt Carney will be missed by all those who have business at the state house, and especially by school children from all over the state, thousands of whom have heard him tell the story of the action before fort Wagner, where occurred the incident from which he coined the phrase that has been repeated around the world. “The old flag never touched the ground.”[43]

Family, friends, dignitaries, and other mourners gathered at Carney’s New Bedford home for his funeral before interring his remains at Oak Grove Cemetery. The governor “sent an immense floral design in the shape of the state seal” and the “letter carriers’ association, of which Sergt Carney was a member, sent a floral design of a postman’s pouch.” Carney’s G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) post “performed the ritual” and “a squad from the Sons of Veterans fired a volley over the grave.”[44]

New Bedford had lost one of its most famous and honored residents. Family friend, Carrie Lee Blanchet wrote that:

Many white citizens took just as much pride in his achievements as did the members of his own race and found pleasure in doing him honor especially on patriotic occasions. In New Bedford Carney was not looked upon as an exceptional Negro but as an exceptional American deserving the unstinted praise of the entire nation.”[45]

State Chaplain Edward A. Horton, who led the funeral services spoke glowingly of his fallen friend. He said:

Sergeant Carney was one of the invaluable men of the Republic who hear the beat of their conscience whether in war or in peace and follow it.”[46]
Painting of the Battle of Fort Wagner with men of the 54th MA Regiment fighting and wounded.


[1] Liberator. November 6, 1863.

[2] William Still. The Underground Railroad. Medford, New Jersey: Plexus Publishing, 2005. P.315-316.

[3] Kathryn Grover. The Fugitive’s Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001. P. 253-4.

[4] Liberator. November 6, 1863.

[5] Kathryn Grover. The Fugitive’s Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001. P. 253-4.

[6] Liberator. November 6, 1863.

[7] Boston Herald, March 5, 1863, “Military.”

[8] Louis Emilio. A Brave Black Regiment. A History of the Fifty-fourth regiment of Massachusetts volunteer infantry. Boston Book Company 1891. P 9-10

[9] Boston Semi-weekly Advertiser, March 25, 1863.

[10] Matthew J. Clavin, Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise of Peril and a Second Haitian Revolution, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 125-126.

[11] Company Descriptive Book, Fold3 pg 3.

[12] Carl Cruz. “Sergeant WillIam H. Carney.” It Wasn’t In Her Lifetime But It Was Handed Down: Four Black Oral Histories of Massachusetts. Office of the Massachusetts Secretary of State. UMASS Amherst. 1989.

[13] “The 54th Before Fort Wagner,” New Bedford Evening Standard, July 28 1863, pg 2.

[14] “Letter From the 54th Regiment,” New Bedford Evening Standard, July 28 1863, pg 2.

[15] “Bravest Colored Soldier,” Boston Herald, January 10 1898, p 6.

[16] “Correspondence,” New York Tribune, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 1863

[17] New Bedford Evening Standard, May 4 1864, p. 2 “A medal of honor has been awarded to Sergt. William H. Carney, of this city, company C, 54th Mass. Regiment, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the Morris Island campaign.” According to Carney’s descendant, Carl Cruz, “the first medal he was given was the Gilmore Medal of Meritorious Award which was basically given right on site...He was also awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The tragic end of the story was that he got it late and did not have a formal ceremony. He received the medal in 1900. It was awarded to him in 1863. He did not receive it because there was an oversight in the papers. There was a gentleman by the name of Christian Fleetwood who also fought in the 54th and was putting together the 1900 Exhibition in Paris that was going to show Blacks. He asked Carney for his medal and some other documents. They later found out that he did not get the medal. So Mr. Fleetwood petitioned the War Department along with Luis Fenollosa Emilio, who wrote A Brave Black Regiment: A History of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1863-1865. So along with sending in those documents, the medal was sent to him with the acknowledgment.” (It Wasn’t In Her Lifetime But It Was Handed Down: Four Black Oral Histories of Massachusetts) According to the The Colored American June 2 1900, “In connection with the Negro exhibit at the Paris Exposition, Mr. Thomas J. Calloway conceived the idea of making a collection of photographs of colored men who had received medals of honor from the Congress of the United States...It was during this search that the gentleman in charge found to his great surprise that no medal from Congress had been issued to Sergt. Carney, and after corresponding with the gallant sergeant, took up the case personally, searched for and found the necessary evidence to establish the claim, put it in proper form, and submitted to the Secretary of War for action. It is needless to say that the action was favorable, and now at all subsequent encampments, re-unions and other official functions, the bronze star with its broad striped ribbon will be conspicuous on the broad chest of the brave hero Sergt. William H. Carney.” Military records show that Carney finally received the Medal of Honor in 1900, “Medal of Honor awarded May 9, 1900, for most distinguished gallantry in action at Fort Wagner, South Carolina, July 18, 1863” (Fold3 pg 17).

[18] “Bravest Colored Soldier,” Boston Herald, January 10 1898, p 6.

[19] New Bedford Evening Standard. December 12 1863, pg.2.

[20] Carrie Lee Blanchet. “William Harvey Carney.” Negro History Bulletin. February, 1944. Vol. 7, No. 5. Pp 107-108. Published by Association from the Study of African American Life and History and “Marriages Registered in the City of New Bedford for the Year eighteen hundred and sixy-five.”

[21] New Bedford Evening Transcript. January 2 1866, 2

[22] Carl Cruz.

[23] New Bedford Evening Transcript. July 5 1865, p. 2

[24] “Lecture To-Morrow Evening” The Brooklyn Union, April 17, 1867

[25] New Bedford Evening Transcript. July 13, 1869.

[26] Carl Cruz.

[27] Earliest Known African American Figures in Postal History | National Postal Museum

[28] Blanchet.

[29] Blanchet.

[30] David Blight. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2001. P 195

[31] Boston Daily Advertiser, December 25 1871 p.2

[32] Boston Traveler, September 4 1872, pg 2

[33] Boston Herald, July 28 1887, Boston Evening Transcript, August 2 1887, Boston Globe, August 2, 1897.

[34] Boston Herald, March 6, 1891 and Boston Herald, April 4 1903. Boston Herald, June 6 1895 p.6. Boston Herald, September 22 1897, p.9. Boston Herald, June 7, 1901, p. 5. Boston Herald, April 20 1903. Boston Herald, April 20 1903. Boston Herald, May 29 1904, p. 31, and May 31, 1904, p.3. Boston Herald May 29 1904, p. 31, and May 31, 1904, p.3. Boston Herald, August 18, 1904, p. 3. Boston Journal, July 10 1897.

[35] The Shaw Memorial: A Celebration of an American Masterpiece. Eastern National. 2002. Pg. 39.

[36] Booker T. Washington. Up From Slavery: An Autobiography. New York: A.L. Burt Company, 1901. P. 253.

[37] “Fought with the 54th," Boston Herald, October 1, 1901.

[38] Blanchet.

[39] Boston City Directory, 1902, p. 294 1902, Boston directory - Boston Directory, 1789 to 1901 - ( and Boston City Directory, 1904. Page 352. 1904, Boston directory - Boston Directory, 1789 to 1901 - (

[40] Boston Herald, November 24, 1908, p.12, “All accounts of the accident are substantially the same...Sergt. Carney, thinking a passenger was to leave the car, stepped back. An instant later he stepped forward, but the elevator man, thinking he had moved away purposely to await the return of the car downward, started again. The upward movement of the car and the forward movement of Mr. Carney were simultaneous, and almost at the same moment the messenger cried:” Don’t! Stop the car.” His cry was followed by the crushing of his leg and he toppled forward into the car. He had been caught by the ankle between the floor and the sill of the car.”

[41] The Boston Globe, November 23, 1908.

[42] Boston Herald, December 10, 1908, pg 1

[43] Boston Globe, December 10 1908

[44] The Boston Globe, December 12, 1908

[45] Blanchet.

[46] Blanchet.

Boston African American National Historic Site

Last updated: January 8, 2023