On February 12, 1865, – 150 years ago – Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, a former slave and now pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., became the first African American to speak in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. His sermon was delivered on Sunday, February 12, 1865 within days of Congress’s adoption of the 13th Amendment banning slavery. A number of Republican leaders thought the occasion merited a public religious service to commemorate the event. They extended the invitation to Rev. Garnet. His sermon titled, “Let the Monster Perish,” can be read in its entirety on this African American History site.
Read the Kent County News article written by Peter Heck about Garnet and his life in Kent County and beyond for more details about this accomplished man.
Charles Sumner Post #25, G.A.R. will host an event to mark the 150th anniversary of Garnet’s speech before Congress.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 7pm at the Charles Sumner Post #25 (206 S. Queen St. Chestertown, MD). The event is free and open to the public.
Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver reading excerpts from the speech
Dr. Alisha Knight of Washington College will give an introductory commentary
Jim & Diane Landskroener as Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln
Art works by Henry Highland Garnett Elementary School students
The Burke Family Singers
Irene Moore and Mary Hynson
Art exhibit by Kevin Harris
Lincoln’s birthday Cake by Karen Emerson of The Historical Society of Kent County