JEFFERSON FRANKLIN LONG (1836–1901)
Jefferson Franklin Long was the second African American elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1870. He was born a slave on March 3, 1836, in Knoxville, Georgia. Self-educated and trained as a tailor, he became a successful businessman in Macon, Georgia, once the Civil War had ended. After Georgia was readmitted into the Union in 1870, Long was elected to fill a vacant seat in the House of Representatives. That election was marked with violence when armed white men challenged African American voters at the polls in Macon. Long served in the House from January 16 to March 3, 1871, and was the first African American to speak on the House floor. He did not run for reelection and returned to Macon, where he resumed his business career. Long was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1880 and died in Macon on February 4, 1901.
Ragsdale, Bruce A., and Joel D. Treese. Black Americans in Congress, 1870–1989. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1990, 81–82.
Drago, Edmund L. Black Politicians and Reconstruction Georgia: A Splendid Failure. 2nd ed. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992.