CHESTER, Thomas M.
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CHESTER, Thomas Morris, son of George and Jane Maria (Russell) Chester, was born March 11, 1834, at Harrisburg, Pa. In January, 1851, he entered the preparatory department of the Avery College, Allegheny City, where he remained until January, 1853, when he sailed for Liberia, West Africa, in the ship "Banshee," arriving at Monrovia on the 3d of June, of the same year. At Monrovia he attended the Alexandria high school for one year, then returned to America, and in December, 1854, entered the junior class of Thetford Academy, Vermont. He graduated from that institution in 1856. In January, 1857, he entered upon the duties of superintendent of recaptured Africans from American slave vessels at Cape Mount, Liberia, to instruct them in civilized customs. He published and edited the Star of Liberia, at Monrovia, and was the correspondent of the New York Herald at that point. In January, 1862, he returned to America on account of the civil strife, and assisted in recruiting the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts regiments, the first colored troops raised for the war. In 1867 he went to England, entered Middle Temple, one of the Inns of Court at London, for the study of law, and was called to the English bar in 1870. While in England he was appointed aide-de-camp to President Payne, of Liberia, with the rank of major, and was intrusted [sic] with important missions to the courts of Russia and Belgium. In July, 1870, Avery College conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. On his return to the United States in 1871, he went to New Orleans, and received the appointment of storekeeper in the custom service. In March, 1873, he was admitted to the practice of law in the courts of Louisiana, by being admitted to the Supreme Court of the State. Governor Kellogg the same year appointed him brigadier general of the First brigade of Louisiana militia. In 1875 he was appointed district superintendent of public education of the first division, comprising seven parishes, including the white and colored schools, and in 1876 superintendent of the fifth division, comprising thirteen parishes. In 1878 he was appointed United States commissioner for the district of Louisiana. On the 22nd of June, 1881, he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and at the November term, 1882, made his first appearance t the bar of his native city and county.

 

Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Becky Tuszynski becky@voicenet.com for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - http://maley.net/transcription.

Date of Transcription: 24 February 2001

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