“I have no doubt my color will not be a bar to my admission”

John S. Rock (1825–1866) to Mr. Jollife, December 13, 1864. William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

I again desire to avail myself of your services in making a motion for my admission to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. We have now a great and good man for our Chief Justice, and with him I have no doubt my color will not be a bar to my admission. If any influence is needed Mr. Sumner who is always ready to do a good work will aid you. Will it be necessary to bring anything more than my certificate of admission to the bar here?

This blog complements the Library of Congress exhibition, “The Civil War in America.” This series of posts chronicles the sacrifices and accomplishments of those—from both the North and South—whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865. To learn more about the object featured in this blog entry, visit the online exhibition.

One Comment

  1. Ellen
    April 30, 2013 at 10:54 am

    One of Salmon P Chase’s first acts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was to admit John Rock on February 1, 1865 to the bar of the Supreme Court.