This week in Christian history: Notable black preacher dies, Lourdes vision, Galileo arrives for trial

Henry Highland Garnet dies – February 13, 1882

Henry Highland Garnet (1815-1882), an abolitionist and pastor who became the first African-American to address Congress. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when Henry Highland Garnet, a Presbyterian pastor widely credited as the first African-American speaker to address the United States House of Representatives, passed away.

An ex-slave who before the American Civil War had called for violent rebellion against slavery, Garnet preached before the House in 1865 at the request of Abraham Lincoln for the president’s 56th birthday.

In 1881, President James Garfield appointed Garnet as United States Minister and Counsel General to Liberia, a title comparable to ambassador. He died a few months later in Monrovia.

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