Born in Pennsylvania, a state that had abolished slavery, George Washington Williams enlisted in the Union Army at 14 and fought in the final battles of the Civil War. After the war, he attended Newton Theological Institution and was the first African American to graduate and be ordained a Baptist minister. After studying law, Williams became the first African American elected to the Ohio State Legislature. He wrote A History of Negro Troops in the War of Rebellion and The History of the Negro Race in America.
After the Civil War, Williams fought in Mexico and with the U.S. Army in the Indian Territory. He was appointed Minister Resident to Haiti, by President Arthur though he never served. After a meeting with King Léopold II of Belgium, Williams traveled to see the brutal and inhuman working conditions of the rubber production workers in the Congo Free State, a possession of the king. He appealed to King Léopold to stop this treatment and to the international community to create a commission to investigate the charges.
This George Washington Williams mug is part of our Author and African American Series profiling outstanding men and women who have helped shape our country in important and positive ways.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
- Mugs are food and microwave safe.
- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
- Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.