John Mercer Langston

John Mercer Langston (* December 14, 1829 in Louisa County, Virginia; † November 15, 1897 in Washington, DC ) was a lawyer and politician from the United States. In addition to Frederick Douglass, he was one of the best known and most influential civil rights activists of the 19th century. He was the first African American to be elected to Virginia House of Representatives of the United States.

Langston was born as the youngest son of a white plantation owner Ralph Quarles, and the Ascended former slave Lucy Langston. His mother was Indian and black ancestry. After his parents died early in 1834, allowing him the surviving assets, in Oberlin, Ohio to attend the school. In 1849 he completed his studies at the college and began working as a lawyer in this city. In 1864 he became president of the National Equal Rights League. During the Civil War he recruited black soldiers for the troops of the Northern States. From 1877 to 1885 he served as an American envoy to Haiti, where he also followed an African American with Ebenezer Bassett.

1888 Langston ran as a Republican for the House of Representatives, and turned with a request to the black population of Virginia, to choose him because of his ancestry. Langston won the election, however, came from his own party to rejection. As leader of the Black Langston was known for frequent Meinungsumschwünge. In the 1870s, he called the black on to leave the south to escape oppression. Later he joined, with increasing prosperity and better education, tensions between blacks and whites would degrade.

The town of Langston, Oklahoma is named after him.