Martin Delany

1812 – 1885

Doctor, Publisher, Author, Civil War Major

Martin Delany was an African American abolitionist, journalist, physician, soldier, writer and arguably the first proponent of black nationalism. Born as a free person of color in Charlestown, Virginia (now West Virginia) and raised in Chambersburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Delany trained as a physician’s assistant with Dr. Andrew McDowell (Stephen Foster’s father-in-law). Delany went on to become one of the first black men admitted to Harvard Medical School. He partnered with Frederick Douglass to publish the abolitionist newspaper, The North Star. He achieved the highest ran an African American would achieve in the Civil War after convincing President Lincoln to allow Black soldiers to be led by Black officers.