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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DAY, WILLIAM HOWARD - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DAY, WILLIAM HOWARD (16 Oct. 1825-3 Dec. 1900) was an abolitionist, editor, publisher, printer, teacher, lecturer, civic leader and clergyman who devoted his life to improving the conditions of his fellow AFRICAN AMERICANS.

Born in New York City to John and Eliza (Dixon), William was educated at a private school and attended high school in Northampton, Mass., where he learned printing at the Northampton Gazette. He was the only black graduate from Oberlin College (1847) where he received his M.A. (1859). Day received the D.D. degree from Livingstone College, Salisbury, N.C. in 1887.

Day moved to Cleveland in 1847 where he worked to repeal the BLACK LAWS, chaired the NATIONAL CONVENTION OF BLACK FREEMEN (1848), and helped organize the Negro Suffrage Society. Day edited the Cleveland DAILY TRUE DEMOCRAT (1851-1853) and published the ALIENED AMERICAN (1853-1854), Cleveland's first black newspaper, later editing its successor, the People's Exposition (1855).

In 1854 Day, who taught Latin, Greek, math, and rhetoric was appointed librarian of the CLEVELAND LIBRARY ASSN. (CLA).

Day left Cleveland in 1856 for Buxton, Canada to teach fugitive slaves fleeing north. In 1859 he visited Great Britain, raising over $35,000 for schools and churches for Canadian blacks. Returning to America after the CIVIL WAR, Day worked with the Freedman's Aid Association, lectured, inspected freedmen schools, worked for black voter registration, and held various educational positions. In 1866 Day was ordained a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church.

Day married LUCY ANN STANTON† on 25 Nov. 1852 (divorced 1872). They had one child, Florence. In 1873 Day married Georgia F. Bell. He died in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Davis, Russell H. Memorable Negroes in Cleveland's Past (1969).

Lawson, Ellen N. The Three Sarahs: Documents of Antebellum Black College Women (1984).

Last Modified: 15 Jul 1997 10:18:02 AM

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