Rev. Samuel Harrison by Ann-Elizabeth Barnes

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This is a biography of Samuel Harrison who was born in Philadelphia in 1818 to enslaved parents. They were given their freedom when he was three years old. He grew up in NYC and Philadelphia, became a minister in the Congregational Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1850. The Rev. Samuel Harrison, Abolitionist, Activist, and Chaplain of the Massachusetts 54th, the First Black Regiment Raised in the North to fight in the Civil War highlights the unrecognized roles Blacks played in the events and outcome of the Civil War as well as the role the Black soldiers played in securing their own future, fighting with resolve, dedication, valor and dignity, while also standing up for their right to the same pay as the white soldiers. Their entry into the war in 1863 made victory for the Union a possibility and then a fact. Rev. Harrison spent his life tirelessly working for the rights and uplift of his people.  Samuel Harrison certainly deserves to be counted among the few whose greatness bent history itself. His story sends forth a ripple of hope and is a part of the sweep that will break down the walls of oppression and resistance.