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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Thomas Morris Chester

 
 
Thomas Morris Chester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 25, 2017
1. Thomas Morris Chester Marker
Inscription. Thomas Morris Chester was born at the corner of Third and Market Streets in Harrisburg in 1834. One of Harrisburg’s most famous nineteenth century African-Americans, he was particularly known for his leadership in education, journalism, military recruitment, international diplomacy and the legal profession.

Chester served as a recruiter and helped usher Pennsylvania Black men into the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments. At the end of the war, Chester was serving as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Press, traveling with the Army of the Potomac. Chester created and led two companies of blacks for local defense during the Gettysburg campaign of 1863.

According to the Harrisburg Telegraph, this was the first time Pennsylvania issued weapons to African-Americans. Chester ended the war as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Press, traveling with the Army of the Potomac.

After the war, Chester moved to England where he studied law and was admitted to the bar, perhaps becoming the first black barrister. Returning to the United States, Chester held several posts in Louisiana, including collector of customs, brigadier general of militia and superintendent of schools. Becoming ill in 1892, he returned to Harrisburg and died in his mother’s house at 305 Chestnut Street. Chester is buried in Penbrook’s Lincoln Cemetery.

Thomas Morris Chester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 25, 2017
2. Thomas Morris Chester Marker
Marker location at Market and N 3rd Streets.

 
Erected by Pennsylvania Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 40° 15.652′ N, 76° 52.837′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and South 3rd Street, on the right when traveling east on Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. T. Morris Chester (here, next to this marker); Kunkel Building (a few steps from this marker); Lochiel Hotel and Colonial Theater (a few steps from this marker); Strawberry Square Phase II (within shouting distance of this marker); Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Dauphin County Courthouses (within shouting distance of this marker); Dauphin Deposit Bank Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 333 Market Street (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
 
Thomas Morris Chester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 25, 2017
3. Thomas Morris Chester Marker
Insert
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 27, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 80 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 27, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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