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Anderson, W. H.
Birth Year : 1843
In 1852 the separate coach bill became law in Kentucky. In 1893, Rev. W. H. Anderson, from Indiana, and his wife, Sarah J. Steward Anderson, tested the law by sitting in the white section of the train and refusing to move. They were put off the train and subsequently filed a $15,000 lawsuit against L & N Railroad. U.S. District court ruled the law unconstitutional and void for interstate commerce, and the Andersons won their lawsuit. W. H. Anderson was a Civil War veteran, having served in the 13th Regiment U.S.Colored Infantry. He was the minister of McFarland Chapel in Evansville, IN, in 1889, when he became the first minister in the state to receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity from State University in Louisville, KY [Simmons University]. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; A. A. Marshall, "Kentucky's separate coach law and African American response, 1892-1900," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 98, issue 3 (2000), pp. 241-259; and "Rev. W. H. Anderson, D.D." on pp.36-42 in Our Baptist Ministers and Schools by A. W. Pegues.
See photo image of Rev. W. H. Anderson on p.299 in Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence, With a Picture Gallery of Eminent Ministers and Scholars by E. C. Morris, online at Documenting the American South.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Vigo County, Indiana / Kentucky