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  Black, James
<-  1884-11-10  
NameJames Black
Address 323 North Duke Street
Lancaster, Pennsylvania , United States
Born September 23, 1823
DiedDecember 16, 1893 (70 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedChronicler
Nov 12, 2008 07:52pm
InfoBLACK, James, was born in Lewisburg, Union county, Pennsylvania, 9/23/1823; was the eldest son of John and Jane (Egbert) Black [Link] . His father was a contractor who worked on important railroads and public works projects in the USA and Canada. James Black drove mules on canals in his youth; while travelling on the Tidewater Canal, he and a group of engineers became intoxicated. Black was so ashamed of his behavior that he never drank again.

Removed with his parents to Lancaster City in 1836. Attended Lewisburg Academy, where he acquired a fair knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages. He next began the study of law in the office of James F. Linn of Lancaster, and was admitted to the bar in 1846.

Early in life, conceiving a strong dislike to the fashionable habit of dram-drinking, he joined a temperance organization in 1840, of which cause he has proved himself one of the most ardent and efficient advocates.

Joined Duke Street Methodist Church, 1842.

Married Eliza Murray of Lewisburg in 1845. Six children, of whom only two survived him: a son W.M. Black (Civil War veteran) and daughter E. Lane Schofield.

Leader in the temperance cause 1851 to 1893. Black was a Democrat until 1852, when he helped found the Temperance Party in Lancaster City. The party polled 1,800 votes in the city elections that year and elected two members of the legislature in 1855.

Black helped organize the Good Templars in Lancaster City and Pennsylvania State, serving as G.W.C. Templar 1860-1864.

Financial agent of the "Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad," reaching from Montreal to Portland, later re-named the Grand Trunk Line; the line had been laid by his father and John M. Wood in 1850-1852.

Local agent, Mutual Life Insurance Company, Lancaster City.

Chairman of the 1869 Prohibition Convention, at which the national Prohibition Party was organized.

Nominee of the Prohibition Party for US President, 1872. Nominated at the first national nominating convention of the party, held 2/22/1872 in Columbus OH. He later joked he received as many electoral votes as the Democratic nominee (none).

Candidate for Presidential Elector (Prb-PA) 1880 (At Large nominee)

House in Lancaster PA: [Link]

Purchased two farms in his later years at Black Barren Springs PA, where he engaged in agricultural experimentation. He specialized in sheep and in using sheep manure to re-fertilize formerly exhausted soil.

Died of pneumonia in his home in Lancaster on 12/16/1893 after a week's illness. At the time of his death, his temperance collection was considered to be the largest and most valuable in the nation. Black also owned thousands of books on farming.

Buried in Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster.

New York Times 12/17/1893, [Link]
Source: Biographical History of Lancaster County (1872), pp. 47-48.
Obituary in the Oxford [PA] Press, 12/21/1893

Photo source (very large image, 1884) [Link]


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