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Archibald Henry Grimké, 1849-1930

Archibald Henry Grimké, politician, writer, and activist, was born into slavery near Charleston, South Carolina on August 17, 1849. His parents were Henry Grimké, a white slave owner, and Nancy Weston, one of Grimke's slaves.

Grimké was educated at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he received his B. A. in 1870 and his M. A. degree in 1872. In 1874, Grimké received his law degree from Harvard University Law School. A year later he passed the bar exam and began practicing law in Boston.

Grimké was actively involved in promoting African American social issues and fighting racism. Grimké spoke publicly and wrote much about the issues closest to his heart. Between the years 1883-85 Grimké was the editor of Hub, a Boston weekly targeted at an African-American audience.

In the 1890s, Grimké began an illustrious political career. President Grover Cleveland appointed Grimké consul to Santo Domingo for the years 1894-98. President McKinley appointed Grimké to be the spokesman for the Colored National League. In 1905, Grimké moved to Washington, D. C. where he continued his political activities, as well as serving as an officer for many social organizations.

Grimké was also a prolific writer, publishing biographies of famous abolitionists, histories of slavery, as well as more contemporary studies of social issues. Archibald Henry Grimké died on February 25, 1930.

Karen Ruffle

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