April 28th – Friday

Many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” – Micah 4:2

On this day in 1847, attorney and abolitionist, George Boyer Vashon, became the first African American to enter the New York State Bar. Vashon was born to abolitionist John Bethune Vashon in Pennsylvania in 1824. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and was class valedictorian, later obtaining a master’s degree. He studied law under Judge Walter Forward in Pennsylvania. Vashon’s application for admission to the Allegheny County bar was denied twice because of his race. He decided emigrate to Haiti but, before he left, he took the bar examination in New York. He passed, becoming the first black lawyer in New York. After a year in Haiti, Vashon returned to Syracuse to practice law. He eventually argued a case before the Supreme Court. A member of the National African American Convention, Vashon published essays along with Frederick Douglass and others. He became a college professor in New York, Washington, D.C., and then in Mississippi. The Pennsylvania Bar admitted him posthumously, 163 years after he applied.

As the Lord leads, pray with us…

  • For judges and justices of the federal judiciary as they hear and decide cases that impact American liberty and equality.
  • For Secretary Miguel Becerra and U.S. education officials as they promote and support higher learning.

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