George W. Murray
(1853 - 1926)
Born into slavery in South Carolina to parents who died during the Civil War, George Washington Murray studied at the University of South Carolina before working for the Colored Farmers’ Alliance, lecturing and obtaining patents for farming tools. He was later elected to represent South Carolina’s Seventh District in the House, the only African American member of Congress during his four years in office. He narrowly lost reelection in 1894 due to voter fraud and intimidation but successfully challenged the results with a stack of testimony reported to be a foot tall. He died of a stroke in Chicago, where he moved after being convicted of forgery by an all-white jury in 1905. South Carolina did not elect another Black member of Congress until 1992.