African Americans of Jefferson County (Images of America)
Jefferson County can proudly claim a large number of firsts when it comes to African Americans in national history. The raid to free slaves that served as a catalyst for the Civil War was led by abolitionist John Brown in Harpers Ferry. The first man wounded in the rebellion was Heyward Shepherd, a free African American and a Jefferson County resident. Pres. Abraham Lincoln appointed Jefferson County native Martin Robison Delany as the first African American field officer of the Civil War. In 1906, the Niagara Movement, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), held its first meeting on American soil on the Storer College campus. The first woman to become the coach of a menÂ’s college basketball team was also an African American from Jefferson County. Additionally, the Colored Horse Show held in Charles Town was the first of its kind for African Americans.
Tom Brooks, Newton Washington, Charles Washington, and Leslie Clark; (third row) Johnny Washington, Jimmy Brown, Arthur Washington, Pete Washington, Warren Clark, Clarence Holmes, Joe Washington, Buddy Brown, and managers Charles Boyd, Robert Stubbs, and (background) DeWitt Jacobs. Absent were Jackie Boyd, Burton Brown, and batboys Mack Washington and Jim Branson. Cheryl Roberts, the first female in the country to serve as an assistant coach on a men’s college basketball team, was only 24 years
Steward Payne (principal). In 1957, the girls’ basketball team consisted of these young women. From left to right are Lamour Jackson, Pauline Campbell, Sheila Jackson, Viola Bailey, Ardalia Johnson, Joyce Carr, Brenda Washington, Francine Russ, Morrisey Rutherford, Jean Lee, and Willa Mae Thomas. Many of these girls played on previous or subsequent teams at Page-Jackson High School, proudly wearing the school colors. The 1958 girls’ basketball team poses from left to right: (kneeling) Brenda
Charles Brown, Charles Newman, Thomas Payton, George Mitchell, Ashton Pinkcett, Phillip Braxton, Lawrence Johnson, Harry Carter, James Carr, and Theodore Togans. Pictured here are happy Page-Jackson High School alumni at a reunion in Charles Town, West Virginia. In the center is Ethel McDaniel. From left to right are (first row) Currina Jackson, Edith McDaniel Clay, Ronald Blackwell, Willeter Brown, and Dorothy Young Taylor; (second row) Willa Mae Pinckney Doleman, Thomas Doleman, Robert Brown,
Charles Town, West Virginia. In 1906, the second meeting of the Niagara Movement was held at Storer College in Harpers Ferry. Led by Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, the movement served as the forerunner of the NAACP. Pictured here is the NAACP delegates’ pilgrimage to Storer College in 1932, paying tribute to John Brown. The marker was rejected because officials thought it might inflame the public sentiment in those times. In July 2006, NAACP board chair Julian Bond, vice chair Roslyn M. Brock,
grateful to the following people and sources that shared their photographs with us: Library of Congress, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, collection of Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society, the Ohio Historical Society, Jefferson County Museum, Page-Jackson Alumni Association, Bill Theriault, Fannie Hazelton, Linda Downing, Guinevere Roper, Ira J. Pendleton, Velma Twyman, Larry Togans, Claude Stanton, Ora Jean Reeves, Brenda Branson Johnson, Fonda Barron, James L. Taylor,