A Maryland Congressman Searches for Black Speakers for a “grand Emancipation Celebration”
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MILTON GEORGE URNER.
Autograph Letter Signed as Congressman, to Edward McPherson. Frederick, Md., July 16, 1880. 1 p., 8 x 9¼ in.
The Colored people of this County intend having a grand Emancipation Celebration on the 18th of Aug. and desire to secure the services of some able and distinguished speakers of their own Race from abroad. They have requested me to enquire of you as to whether you can give them the names of some whom you think they can likely procure. They want men who will forcibly present the great blessings the race has received through emancipation and the Republican Party. I am asked to enquire whether you know Mr. Isaiah C. Wear of Phila and what your estimate of him is. Your early answer will oblige.”
Milton G. Urner (1839-1926) was a two-term Maryland Republican Congressman and lawyer in Fredericksburg. He served in Congress from 1879 through 1883 but did not run for reelection. In 1887, he was appointed local attorney for the Pa. Railroad in 1887, was a member of the State Senate from 1888-1890, was appointed naval officer for the Port of Baltimore by President Harrison, and later engaged in banking.
Edward McPherson (1830-1895) was a Pennsylvania newspaper editor, two term Republican Congressman, and later the director of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association.