Do you know who Benjamin Boseman was? He was a key figure in Reconstruction Era Charleston….the brief, post-Civil War years of relative opportunity for people of color. An opportunity that disappeared with the onset of the Jim Crow decades.
Born in Troy, New York, Boseman apprenticed himself to a White physician. Boseman completed his medical studies at Dartmouth Medical School in 1863 and Bowdoin College’s Maine Medical College in 1864. He provided medical care to what were then called Colored Troops in the Hilton Head area and later moved to Charleston. He served 3 terms in the South Carolina legislature from 1868-1873 and introduced South Carolina’s first comprehensive civil rights legislation.
He later served as Postmaster of Charleston from 1873 until his death in 1881. To see the Wikipedia entry on Boseman CLICK HERE
The Post & Courier had a guest column Friday by retired SC State History Professor William C. Hine that referred to Boseman as “obscured by time”…a fate of many who flourished in the Reconstruction years only to disappear from the history promoted during the Jim Crow era.
To see the Post & Courier article CLICK HERE. (If you’re not a subscriber you will hit a paywall.)
For more information from more accessible sources try these links: