Discovering the Inspiring Legacy of Edward Jordan Sr.

Discovering the Inspiring Legacy of Edward Jordan Sr.

Edward Jordan Sr. is one of the most significant figures in African American history. He was an influential leader, innovator, and entrepreneur whose legacy still inspires people today. Jordan had a long and successful career, from his beginnings in the Civil War to his entry into the business world. Throughout his life, he achieved considerable success and advanced the cause of African American rights. In this blog post, we will explore the life and legacy of Edward Jordan Sr. to better understand why his inspiring story still resonates with people today.

Early Life and Education

Edward Jordan Sr. was born in 1835, just after the abolition of slavery in the United States. Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Jordan received an early education in a variety of subjects, including English, mathematics, and geography. With the help of his teacher, Jordan was able to study and master many topics as a young man.

He was also afforded the opportunity to attend college, enrolling at the Wilberforce University in Ohio in 1853. While at Wilberforce, Jordan became highly educated in various fields, including law and theology. He graduated in 1857 and returned to Baltimore to continue his education.

The Civil War and Entrepreneurship

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Jordan enlisted in the Union Army. He served in the First Colored Regiment, a unit of African American soldiers tasked with protecting the Union’s supply lines. Jordan served with distinction throughout the war, and he was promoted to the rank of Major in 1865.

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Following his military service, Jordan returned to Baltimore to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams. He started off by purchasing and refurbishing old ships and then selling them to different railroad companies. This business venture was quite successful and helped Jordan acquire a comfortable fortune.

The Colored Citizen

In addition to his business endeavors, Jordan was passionate about advancing the cause of African American rights. In 1868, he founded the Colored Citizen, a newspaper dedicated to covering the issues facing African Americans at the time. The newspaper was immensely popular, and it was read by many people in the local community.

Jordan used The Colored Citizen as a platform to advocate for racial equality and social justice. He wrote extensively about the importance of education, job opportunities, and civil rights for African Americans. He also made a point of highlighting positive stories and contributions from African American leaders and activists.

The National Afro-American League

In 1887, Jordan attended a meeting in New York City to discuss the formation of a national organization dedicated to advancing the rights of African Americans. This meeting eventually led to the formation of the National Afro-American League, which was dedicated to protecting the civil rights of African Americans throughout the United States.

Jordan was a prominent member of the League and was an active participant in its activities. During his time with the League, he wrote and published several pamphlets and newspaper articles advocating for African American rights. He also organized a number of public events to draw attention to the issues facing African Americans at the time.

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Business Success and Legacy

In the years following the Civil War, Jordan expanded his business ventures, opening a number of successful stores in the Baltimore area. He was also involved in the banking industry, becoming the first African American to own a bank in the city.

By the time of his death in 1898, Jordan had accumulated considerable wealth and had established himself as one of the most successful and influential African American entrepreneurs in the United States. His legacy continues to inspire people to this day.

Political Activism

In addition to being a successful businessman, Jordan was a prominent political activist. He was actively involved in various campaigns that advocated for African American rights, including voting rights and educational access. He was a vocal advocate for the rights of African Americans and worked tirelessly to promote equality and justice.

Jordan was also a strong proponent of the Republican Party, believing that the party was the best hope for African Americans to succeed in the United States. He often attended party meetings and used his influence to support Republican candidates.

Supporting the Arts

Jordan was a strong believer in the power of the arts and wanted to ensure that African Americans had access to the same artistic opportunities as their white counterparts. He created a number of art galleries and theatres in Baltimore, showcasing the work of African American painters, sculptors, and actors.

He was also a significant benefactor of the Howard Theatre, a popular venue in Baltimore that hosted a wide variety of performances. His support helped the theatre become one of the leading entertainment destinations in the city.

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Innovative Solutions

Throughout his lifetime, Jordan was known for his innovative solutions to various problems. He was a strong believer in the power of technology and was a vocal advocate for its use in business. He was also keenly interested in the power of the steam engine and was an early investor in the use of steam-powered ships.

Jordan was also an early adopter of the telephone, recognizing its potential to revolutionize communication. He was an instrumental figure in the early days of telephone technology, helping to develop more efficient and affordable telephone systems for businesses and homes.

Lasting Legacy

Edward Jordan Sr. was a groundbreaking figure in African American history. He was a successful entrepreneur and innovator, but he was also a passionate advocate for justice and equality. He achieved significant success in his lifetime and left behind an inspiring legacy that continues to resonate with people today. His life serves as an example of what can be achieved when one is driven by passion, dedication, and a strong commitment to justice.

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