Thomas Mundy Peterson


Thomas Mundy Peterson

On March 31, 1870, Thomas Mundy Peterson (1824 - 1904) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, United States, became the first African-American to vote in an election under the just-enacted provisions of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. [ [http://www.npl.org/Pages/ProgramsExhibits/Exhibits/aafirsts.html African-American Firsts Remembered - Newark Public Library ] at www.npl.org]

He was born in Metuchen, New Jersey, to parents that had been slaves owned by the Mundy family.

He was a school custodian in Perth Amboy. Active in the Republican Party, he became that the city's first African-American to hold elected office, on the Middlesex County Commission. [ [http://www.history.org/history/teaching/enewsletter/volume4/september05/primsource.cfm Voting Medal ] at www.history.org] He was also the city's first "colored" person to serve on a jury.

Decades later, the school where Peterson had worked was renamed after him.

In New Jersey, March 31 is annually celebrated as "Thomas Mundy Peterson Day" in recognition of his historic vote. [ [http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/9899/Bills/pl98/1001_.htm P.L.1998, jr.001 (AJR31) ] at www.njleg.state.nj.us]

Notes

ee also

*List of African American firsts


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