Pittsburgh Abolitionist Charles Avery, circa 1850.
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Black and white portrait of Charles Avery standing.

Credit: Courtesy of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

A convert to the anti-slavery cause, Charles Avery used his wealth to support a series of initiatives to advance of African American opportunity in antebellum Pittsburgh. When Avery died in 1858, he left $20,000 to Oberlin College– the first college in the United States to admit Blacks– and $150,000 to support dissemination of the gospel of Christ among the tribes of Africa, and for the education and elevation of African Americans in the United States and Canada.

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