Born: December 14, 1829, in Louisa County, Virginia
Status: Died November 15, 1897, in Washington, D.C.; buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
Education: B.A., 1849 Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; advanced studies in theology and oratory, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, 1849- 1852; read law with Judge Philemon Bliss, Elyria, Ohio; admitted to the Ohio bar in September, 1854
Position: Elected clerk of Brownhelm Township, Lorain County, Ohio, 1855; appointed inspector general, Freedmen's Bureau, 1868; founded the law department, Howard University, Washington, D.C., 1868; dean, law department, Howard University, 1869-1875; vice president, Howard University, 1874; acting president, Howard University, 1875; member, District of Columbia Board of Health, 1871--c. 1876; U.S. minister to Haiti, 1877; U.S. chargé d'affaires to Santo Domingo, 1883-1885; president, Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (now Virginia State University), Petersburg, Virginia, 1885-1887; U.S. representative from Virginia, 1890-1891
John Mercer Langston was born in Louisa County, Virginia, on December 14, 1829. His father, Ralph Quarles, was a white plantation owner, and his mother, Lucy Langston, was a freed woman of mixed black and Native American heritage. John was their fourth child and at age five, following the death of both his parents in 1834, he was sent with his older brothers to live in Ohio, in accordance with his