Reverend John Chavis

Regularly posting has proved to be challenging so expect blurbs as I make my way through the thick of the semester.

I was wandering around Wikipedia, a great way to waste time on a Monday morning, when I stumbled upon the story of John Chavis, a fascinating man.

He was born in 1763; historians are not sure where. Chavis fought in the Revolutionary War and, some years later, ended up at the College of New Jersey Seminary (known today as Princeton). After the death of his mentor, founding father John Witherspoon, Chavis pursued his studies at what was to become Washington & Lee University (the next black student wouldn’t be admitted for some 200 years).

While there is no record of him receiving his degree, he was licensed as a Presbyterian minister and founded an integrated school in Raleigh, North Carolina. This same school was later segregated at the behest of white student’s parents.

Chavis fought for the abolishment of slavery, even when it meant having his school shut down by the State Legislature, until his death in 1838.

For more information on Reverend Chavis, click here. For a concise chronology of black higher education look here.

“Chavis, John (1763-1838) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed.” BlackPast.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. [Source]