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Collection Reference Number GLC09400.060
From Archive Folder Collection of letters of the first African American to serve a full term in the Senate 
Title An Act H.R. 4318 4th Congress 3rd Session.
Date 5 February 1879
Author Adams, Geo. M. (fl. 1879)  
Recipient Kelso Bruce, Blanche  
Document Type Government document
Content Description This act established the Mississippi River Improvement Commission. Which is for the correction, permanent location, and deepening of the channel and the improvement of navigation of the Mississippi River and the protection of its alluvial lands.
Subjects African American History  African Americans in Government  Congress  Law  Reconstruction  Government and Civics  Legislation  Infrastructure  
People Bruce, Blanche Kelso (1841-1898)  Adams, Geo M. (fl. 1879)  
Place written Washington, D.C.
Theme Government & Politics; African Americans
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1860-1945
Additional Information Blanche Kelso Bruce was born into slavery near Farmville, Prince Edward County, Va. on March 1 1841. He was tutored by his master's son, but left his master at the beginning of the civil war and taught school in Hannibal Mo. After the civil war Bruce became a planter in Mississippi, and a member of the Mississippi Levee Board, and Sheriff and Tax Collector for Bolivar County from 1872-1875. Bruce was then elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, where he served from March 4 1875 - March 3 1881. Bruce was the first African American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. In 1881 Bruce was appointed by President James Garfield as the Register of the Treasury. Bruce then went on to serve as the Recorder of Deeds for the District of Colombia from 1891-1893, returning to the office of Register of the Treasury from 1897 until his death on March 17, 1898.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era: 1860-1945