“Hon. Joseph Haynes Rainey of S.C.” portrait. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection.
Joseph Hayne Rainey was an American politician. He was the first black person to serve in the United States House of Representatives, the second black person to serve in the United States Congress and the first black presiding officer of the House of Representatives. Born into slavery in South Carolina, he was freed in the 1840s by his father purchasing the freedom of his entire family and himself. He was also a Republican … of the 1800’s
“I am contented to be what I am, so long as I have my rights.” -Joseph Rainey