First school for Black children in JC defied state statutes, community sentiment

In June 1864, nearly 80 children stepped into a classroom for the first time in Jefferson City. Since 1847, it had been illegal in Missouri to teach a Black person, free or slave. Despite the Union occupation, Jefferson City townspeople mostly were secession-minded and vocally opposed to educating African-Americans.

Nevertheless, members of the two Black congregations, what would become Quinn Chapel A.M.E. and 2nd Baptist churches, requested a teacher from the American Missionary…

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