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People of Note

Photographs, ledgers, account books, obituaries, and correspondence can provide us a glimpse into the lives of early African-Americans. Through these sources we can gain an important perspective on their existence. For some, such as Richard Oliver, Judy Jackson, and John Hasbrouck, fortunate enough to have been memorialized in our memory of the past through the accounts of others and personal ledgers, there is enough information to sketch an outline of their fate. For others however, we often only have a nameless photograph, further condemning them to periphery of our historical landscape. While we know what their clothing looked like, where their hair met their brow, and the way in which they gaze at us from the past, we can only speculate on their thoughts, opinions, hopes, and dreams. Their weathered faces, overworked hands, and dignified postures are all we have to flesh out the crucial part of our community they represented.