Video Preview: John L. Waller: Striving For Equality
produced by David M. Talley

Copyright 2010, David M. Talley - all rights reserved

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Born into slavery in New Madrid County, Missouri (USA) in 1850, John Waller rose to become a lawyer, publisher and prominent member of the Kansas Republican establishment. Although spurned in his attempts to seek elected office, he was the only African-American elector in the 1888 U.S. Presidential election. In 1891, he was appointed United States Consul to Madagascar, by President Benjamin Harrison. His imprisonment (and subsequent release) by the French, after attempting to form an African-American colony on that island elevated his status to that of an national and international figure.

Following his service in Africa, Waller organized a company of Black American soldiers to fight in the Spanish-American War. Under Waller's command, this unit was sent to Cuba as part of the Twenty-Third Kansas Volunteers.

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