African American Paschall’s in the 1872 North Carolina State Legislator

By Linda Stewart, 28 September 2018

North Carolina State Legislators 1872.  Photo courtesy of Marlene Parker.

In an article entitled “General Assembly” by David A. Norris, which is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell, it gives the history of the General Assembly and states African Americans were first elected to the Assembly during Reconstruction (1865-77).  The North Carolina Constitutional Convention that was held in early 1868 chose 107 Republicans and 13 Democrats. Thirteen Black Republicans represented nineteen majority Black counties.  For more information about the African American Political Pioneers, there is an excellent article Constitutional Convention, 1868: “Black Caucus” By Earl Ijames online at

These distinguished African American men include John M. Paschall, and his kinsman J. Wm. H. Paschall.

An article appeared in the Tri-Weekly Era, (Raleigh, North Carolina) – Tuesday, July 2, 1872, Page 1.

Republican Convention in Warren – In pursuance to previous notes, the Republicans of Warren county met in Convention in the Court House in Warrenton on Saturday 15th Inst., for the purpose of nominating a Senator, two Representatives and the Republican ticket for the other county offices.

The Convention was called to order by Mr. John A. Hyman [Black], and organized by calling John M. Paschall, Esq., to the Chari, and requesting J. Wm. H. Paschall to act as Secretary.  After a few appropriate remarks by the Chairman, the roll of the townships was called, and every township was represented.  Each candidate for the Legislature being called for came forward and addressed the Convention in brief speeches.

On motion, a committee consisting of one delegate from each township was appointed to suggest the names of the most suitable and ablest men to fill the various offices of the county and Legislature.  During the absence of the committee telling speeches were delivered by John A. Hyman and others.  The committee returned and submitted their report through the Secretary, which was taken up and voted on when the following named persons were nominated, viz;

Senate – John A. Hyman, by acclamation

House of Representatives – Geo. H. King and J. Wm. H. Paschal.

Sheriff – N. R. Jones

Treasurer – J. C. McCraw

Register of Deeds – J. H. Bennett

Coroner – Benjamin Cook

Surveyor – Jas. A. Egerton

Commissioners – Alexander L. Steed, — Williams, John M. Paschall, John Read, and Alexander Wright.

Warren will poll an increased majority in August next, for the State Republican ticket and for Gen. Grant in November.

                                JOHN M. PASCHALL, Chm’n.

J. Wm. H. Paschall, Sec’y

John M. Paschall also served as the 19th District Republican Senator for Warren County, NC for the year 1874.

John served his community in various aspects.  In 1870, he was a teacher at the Mount Pleasant public school in North Carolina.  In 1873, John, as well as John William Henry, and Thomas P. Paschall, all served a Justices of the Peace.  In addition to being a Senator, John was also a Baptist Minister.

One 25 December 1856, John Monroe Paschall married Mary Jane Wright, and they had eleven children.  One of their daughter’s, Annie Eula, attended five years at the Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.   You can read her story in “Who’s who among the colored Baptists of the United States, Volume I”, by Bacote, Samuel William, ed. 1913. Page 230.

John, listed as mulatto on the census records, was born ca 1827 in North Carolina and died in 1886.   His obituary reads John M. Paschall, colored, of this county, at one time a member of the Legislature, died last Thursday night.  Deceased was a very respectable and intelligent colored man.  The Wilmington Morning Star, (Wilmington, North Carolina) – Saturday, April 3, 1886, Page 1.


John Monroe Paschall            Mary Jane Wright Paschall            Photos courtesy of Marlene Parker

Happy Hunting!