George Lewis Ruffin – bit of History

georgeLewisRuffin

1834 – 1886
George Lewis Ruffin is born in Richmond, Virginia. The
son of free African Americans, he and his wife, Josephine
St. Pierre Ruffin (1842–1924), will flee to England after
the Dred Scott decision (1857), and return soon to
Boston. While making his living as a barber, he will
speak out on matters concerning African Americans. He
will read the law in Boston and become the first Black
to graduate from Harvard Law School (1869). While
maintaining a thriving practice in Boston, he will serve
in the Massachusetts legislature (1869–71) and Boston
City Council (1876–8), and will be named a municipal
judge (1883). An active Baptist and able speaker, he will
attend national conventions of African Americans and
become a close friend of many prominent people of his
day, including Frederick Douglass. His wife was a partner
in his many efforts to improve the lot of fellow
African Americans. He will join the ancestors on
November 18, 1886.