Author: Carolyn Durham

ENTRY

A. Q. Franklin (1852–1924)

A. Q. Franklin, educator and member of the House of Delegates (1889–1890). Born in Richmond to a former slave who had freed himself and possibly a white mother who taught him to read and write, Franklin worked as a laborer and then, in Charles City County, as a schoolteacher. He served as the county’s commissioner of revenue for many years and helped establish Bull Field Academy, a school for African Americans. In 1889 Franklin won election to the House of Delegates as a Republican, one of only three African Americans elected in 1889. They were the last black candidates to win election to the General Assembly until 1967. In 1908 he began raising funds for an African American high school (later Charles City County High School), which prompted the closure of Bull Field Academy in 1911. According to at least one historian, Franklin’s efforts produced an unusually high number of college-educated African Americans from Charles City County. He died in 1924.

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