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Vermont Civil War Monuments

Historic Roadside Markers
George W. Henderson (Belvidere/1999)

Roadside Marker

Roadside Marker

George
Washington Henderson

First African-American Elected to PHi Beta Kappa
Minister, Educator, Champion of His Race

Born in Virginia in 1850, Henderson was employed as a
servant by Henry Carpenter, adjutant in the Eighth Vermont
Regiment in the Civil War. In 1865 he accompanied
Carpenter to his home in Belvidere and began "to learn his
letters." After study with Oscar Atwood in Underhill and at
Barre Academy, he entered the University of Vermont and
graduated at the top of his class in 1877. He taught in
schools in Jericho, Craftsbury, and Newport. After
graduating in 1883 from Yale Divinity School, he went
south in 1888 to serve as Congregational minister in New
Orleans. He was author, in 1894, of the first formal
protest against lynching in the U.S. From 1890 to 1932
he taught theology and classical languages in Straight
(now Dillard), Fisk, and Wilberforce Universities. He died
in Wilberforce, Ohio, in 1936.

This Historic Roadside Marker is in Belvidere Center Cemetery.

Photographs by Tom Ledoux