From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Benjamin, R. C. O.

(born: 1855  -  died: 1900) 

Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin was shot in the back and died in Lexington, KY, in 1900. He was killed at the Irishtown Precinct by Michael Moynahan, a Democrat precinct worker. The shooting occurred after Benjamin objected to African Americans being harassed while attempting to register to vote. When the case went to court, Moynahan claimed self-defense, and the case was dismissed. Benjamin had become a U.S. citizen in the 1870s; he was born in St. Kitts and had come to New York in 1869. He had lived in a number of locations in the U.S., and he came to be considered wealthy. For a brief period, Benjamin taught school in Kentucky and studied law. He was a journalist, author, lawyer (the first African American lawyer in Los Angeles), educator, civil rights activist, public speaker, and poet, and he had been a postal worker in New York City. In addition to being a journalist, Benjamin also edited and owned some of the newspapers where he was employed. Between 1855-1894, he authored at least six books and a number of other publications, including Benjamin's Pocket History of the American Negro, The Zion Methodist, Poetic Gems, Don't: a Book for Girls; and the public address The Negro Problem, and the Method of its Solution. In 1897, Benjamin returned to Kentucky with his wife, Lula M. Robinson, and their two children. Benjamin was editor of the Lexington Standard newspaper. The first bust that Isaac S. Hathaway sculpted was that of R. C. O. Benjamin. For more information see Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin, by G. C. Wright in the American National Biography Online (subscription database); and "R. C. O. Benjamin," Negro History Bulletin, vol. 5, issue 4 (January 1942), pp. 92-93.

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Benjamin's pocket history of the American Negro: a story of thirty-one years, from 1863 to 1894
NKAA Source: The Zion Methodist
NKAA Source: Poetic gems
NKAA Source: Don't: a book for girls
NKAA Source: The negro problem, and the method of its solution. An address delivered ... June 3, 1891
NKAA Source: The Lexington standard (newspaper)
NKAA Source: American National Biography Online (database)
NKAA Source: Negro history bulletin (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Schooler, James W.
NKAA Entry:  Independent Colored Clubs Movement

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Benjamin, R. C. O.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 22, 2017, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/1748.

Last modified: 2017-09-14 19:17:32