Author: Deborah Beckel


Amos A. Dodson (1856–1888)

Amos A. Dodson served one term in the House of Delegates (1883–1884). Born into slavery in Mecklenburg County, Dodson after the American Civil War (1861–1865) began balancing a carpentry apprenticeship during the day and studying in his time away from work. He parlayed his education into a ten-year stint as a teacher beginning in 1872. Later he worked as a railroad clerk with the help of Readjuster Party leader William Mahone. Dodson prevailed in an intra-party struggle for the Readjuster nomination for the House of Delegates in 1883 and then won the general election. He did not seek reelection, though he remained active in politics. Dodson moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in 1886, entering the undertaking business. Known as an eloquent speaker, his public career ended with his death in 1888.