Author: Lawrence L. Hartzell


George F. Bragg (1863–1940)

George F. Bragg was born into slavery and later became a journalist and Episcopal minister. Dismissed from divinity school, he began his public career working for Readjuster leader William Mahone and establishing the weekly Petersburg Lancet. Bragg left politics in 1884 after divisiveness within the Readjuster Party. He returned to the seminary in 1885 and a few years later took over a struggling Norfolk congregation. Within five years he turned it into a self-supporting church. In 1888 he was ordained a priest at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Norfolk, making him only the twelfth black Episcopal priest in the United States. Bragg moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1891 where he revived another church, edited a monthly newspaper, the Church Advocate, and wrote books and pamphlets. He died in Baltimore in 1940.