2403Politician, minister and educator, Francis Cardozo!
- Feb 2, 2007
Politician, minister and educator, Francis Cardozo!
*This date marks the birth of Francis Louis Cardozo in 1837. He was a black color minister, educator, and politician; the first African-American color South Carolinian to hold a government office.
Cardozo was born free in Charleston , South Carolina to a prominent Jewish businessman and economist, Isaac N. Cardozo, and a free African-American woman, whose name is unknown. Cardozo was trained as a carpenter, but at 21 studied for the ministry at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and at seminaries in Edinburgh and London . He won awards for his mastery of Greek and Latin. He returned to the United States as minister of Temple Street Congregational Church in New Haven , Connecticut . During Reconstruction (1865-1877), as a member of the American Missionary Association, he became principal of the Saxton School .
In 1866 he helped establish and became superintendent of the Avery Normal Institute in Charleston to train African-American teachers. In 1868, Cardozo became involved in politics, acting as a delegate to the 1868 South Carolina state constitutional convention. As Secretary of State (1868-1872), he became South Carolina 's first African-American to hold a government office. He was state treasurer for five years until 1878, when he was appointed to the Treasury Department in Washington , DC .
Considered a moderate by his peers, Cardozo found a home amongst the African-American color elite in Washington . He accepted the job as principal of the Colored High School , administering the school from 1884 to 1896. He died in 1903 in Washington , DC .