How America’s First Black Ambassador Became a Popular Hero
tags: slavery,abolitionism,Haiti,Ebenezer Basset
The first American diplomat to defy his boss—the secretary of state—to give sanctuary to a dissident, and who endured the siege of his home as thanks for championing human rights, was born to care about freedom intensely: he was America’s first African-American ambassador, too.
Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett had not been a slave. He never fought in the Civil War. He was bookish not macho. But he was tough.
The defining episode of his diplomatic career occurred in 1875 as he represented the United States to Haiti (the term ambassador came into use in 1893). Haiti, the first black republic and the Americas’ second free republic, was in chaos. While assuring Bassett he was a “lover of justice,” the country’s new leader Michel Domingue was hunting down opponents...
comments powered by Disqus
- Treating immigrants like criminals has a long history in the United States
- Hundreds of black Americans were killed during 'Red Summer.' A century later, still ignored
- Memes and Memory: How Anthony Johnson, a Captive African, Became a Right-wing Talking Point
- Ed Dwight Was Set to Be the First Black Astronaut. Here’s Why That Never Happened.
- 75 Years After World War II Theft, a Painting Returns to Italy
- Kruse and Zelizer: Trump Is a Symptom of an Age That’s Been a Long Time Coming
- Reginald Butler, Former African American Studies Director at UVA, Dies
- Duke Professor Emeritus John Herd Thompson Dies at 72
- ‘The Code’ Review: How Green Was the Valley
- Academics Respond to Wall Street Journal Op Ed Calling Academia "Sweet Racket"