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Alexander Crummell was born in New York in 1819. He is the grandson of a West African chief. He was educated by Quakers, thus leading to his strong religious ties and work in the Episcopal church. By 1853, Crummell had graduated from the Queens College in Cambridge.

Crummell, an Episcopalian priest, spent many years advocating the emigration of blacks to Africa and for African self-help. By 1873, he ran into opposition in Liberia and returned to Washington D.C. to work as a “missionary at large to the colored people.”

Alexander Crummell published several articles in his lifetime: “The Future of Africa: Being Addresses, Sermons, etc. Delivered in the Republic of Liberia” (1862); “The Greatness of Christ and Other Sermons” (1882); and “Africa and America: Addresses and Discourses” (1891).

Alexander Crummell died in 1898.

Little Known Black History Fact: Alexander Crummell’s Thanksgiving Day Speech  was originally published on

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