This Day in History: 1836-03-03

U.S. Representative Jefferson Franklin Long is born. Long was the second African American sworn into the US House of Representatives, the first African-American congressman from Georgia, and the first African-American Representative to speak on the floor of the U.S. House (opposing the Amnesty Bill that exempted former Confederates serving in the House from swearing allegiance to the Constitution). He remained the only African American to represent Georgia until Andrew Young was elected in 1972. Enslaved from birth, Long secretly taught himself to read and write (which was illegal and thus mortally dangerous for enslaved people) while setting type for a newspaper. Learn more.