Adam McNeil Spring 2019
Throughout the Colored Conventions Movement’s Reconstruction and postbellum eras, as Gabrielle Foreman states, were important timeframes of dynamic institution building. They also “included not only life-long Southerners but also Northerners and Canadian emigrants, who moved South after the War.” In the “Associated Biographies” section, you will learn about activists with direct political and educational experiences in Florida, and those with familial connections to the state through the political migrations which occurred after the Civil War. For example, Ida Alexander Gibbs Hunt was born in 1862 in British Columbia to Colored Conventions Movement veteran Mifflin Wistar Gibbs and as a teenager, she emigrated to the United States to attend Oberlin College. Julia Pennington Gibbs Muse, daughter of Rev. Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs and Ida Alexander Gibbs’ cousin, was representative of the naming practices of the conventions where convention delegates named their children after convention delegates they were closest to. In the case of Julia Pennington Gibbs Muse, her middle name “Pennington” was based on New York Colored Conventions Movement activist Rev. J.W.C. Pennington. Like her father, he was also a Presbyterian minister. Another important political figure with ties to Florida was the formerly enslaved man turned trailblazing journalist, T. Thomas Fortune from Marianna, Florida. Fortune’s New York-based newspapers featured many editorials about Black Floridian politics and reprinted many editorials from the various newspapers written by Florida’s Black activist-journalists.