Died on this day – 19 June 1857

Alexander Lucius Twilight
Alexander Lucius Twilight

Alexander Lucius Twilight, born free in Vermont on 26 September 1795, was the first African American person to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an American college or university.  He achieved this by graduating from Middlebury College in 1823.  An educator, minister and politician, he was licensed as a Congregational preacher, and worked in ministry and education all his career.  In 1829 Twilight became principal of the Orleans County Grammar School.  There he designed and built Athenian Hall, the first granite public building in the state. In 1836 he was the first African American elected to public office as a state legislator, serving in the Vermont General Assembly.  In 1857 Twilight visited Europe and died whilst lecturing in the Théâtre de la Cité in Montmorillon.  He was 62 years old.

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