Major Martin Robinson Delany, circa 1865.
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Hand colored lithograph on paper.

Credit: Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, NPG. 95.46

An outspoken abolitionist who cofounded the North Star newspaper with Frederick Douglass in 1848, Pittsburgh’s Martin Delany in the 1850s became the nation’s leading advocate of black Americans emigration back to Africa. The highest ranking African-American officer during the American Civil War, Delany in 1879 published his last major work, Principia of Ethnology: The Origin of Races and Color, in which he extolled the virtues of the black race and their contributions to civilization.

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