Jesse Duke

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Jesse Duke
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CitizenshipUnited States
  • Religious
  • Political leader

Jesse Duke (1854) was a religious and political leader in Alabama who established and edited the Baptist Montgomery Herald newspaper and served as a Selma University trustee.[1] He wrote an anti-lynching article that called out white journalists for turning a blind to the children fathered by white men and African American women drawing a strong reaction that instigated Duke fleeing with his family to Pine Bluff, Arkansas where he started a new paper.[2] He advocated for civil rights for African Americans. Local whites held a public meeting and condemned him as a vile and dangerous character after he published a statement about the growing appreciation a white "Juliet" could have for a "colored Romeo".[3]

Duke was born into enslavement. In the 1870s he owned a grocery store and was a teacher.[4] He established the Herald in the 1880s.[5]Duke was an influential political leader among Republicans.[3]

Architect and engineer Charles Sumner Duke (1879 - 1952) was his son.[2] He condemned biased all-white juries and the convict labor system it supplied.[6]

He corresponded with Booker T. Washington about relocating the Lincoln School (Marion, Alabama) in Marion to Montgomery.[7]

He led the Alabama Colored Press Association during its establishment.[4]

The Library of Congress has the Montgomery Herald 1886 to 1887 in its collection.[8]


  1. Harvey, Paul (November 9, 2000). Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities Among Southern Baptists, 1865-1925. Univ of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807861950 – via Google Books.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Encyclopedia of Arkansas". Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hodes, Martha Elizabeth (January 2, 1997). White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-century South. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300077505 – via Google Books.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wells, Jonathan Daniel (October 24, 2011). Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139503495 – via Google Books.
  5. Nerone, John C.; PhD, Associate Professor of Communications John Nerone (January 2, 1994). Violence Against the Press: Policing the Public Sphere in U.S. History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195086980 – via Google Books.
  6. Hill, N. C. ) Southern Conference on Women's History 1991 (Chapel (January 2, 1994). Hidden Histories of Women in the New South. University of Missouri Press. ISBN 9780826209580 – via Google Books.
  7. Washington, Booker T.; Harlan, Louis R.; Harlan, Louis R. (October 31, 1972). Booker T. Washington Papers Volume 2: 1860-89. Assistant Editors, Pete Daniel, Stuart B. Kaufman, Raymond W. Smock, and William M. Welty. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252002434 – via Google Books.
  8. "The Herald (Montgomery, Ala.) 1886-1887". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

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