Side A: The son of an enslaved father and free Black mother, Martin Delany became one of the most prominent Black leaders in 19th Century America. Called the “Father of Black Nationalism,” Delany promoted African American pride and self-determination. Delany was born May 6, 1812 in present-day Charles Town, West Virginia. Because education for Blacks was illegal there, his family moved to Pennsylvania. Delany studied medicine, founded a newspaper, the “Mystery,” and advocated rights for African Americans and women. He co-edited the “North Star” with abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Delany risked his life by demanding equality and by aiding Americans of African descent in their fight from slavery to freedom. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) In 1859 Delany traveled in Africa to secure a homeland for Black Americans. During the Civil War he came to believe a Union victory would end slavery. Delany recruited Black soldiers and met with President Lincoln to propose the formation of an African American army led by black officers. Commissioned a Major, Delany was the highest-ranking Black field officer in the Regular Army. In 1864 he and his wife Catherine came to Wilberforce, Ohio to provide their children a quality education. He later served in the Freedman’s Bureau to protect the rights of the formerly enslaved. Martin Delany fought to achieve justice for African Americans as an abolitionist, physician, leader in Prince Hall Freemasonry, inventor, judge, and writer. He died January 24, 1885 and is buried at Massies Creek Cemetery three miles from his Wilberforce home.
Sponsors: The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Scotts Company-Founded by a Civil War Veteran, The Ohio Historical Society