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

Bishop, James Lee

(born: 1869  -  died: 1942) 

In 1902 the Socialists Party nominated one of its first African American candidates for the U.S. Congress, Rev. James L. Bishop from Kentucky. Members of the Socialists Party had demanded that the party take a stronger stand for the rights of Negroes.

Bishop had moved to Indiana, prior to the year 1900. He was nominated in 1902 for the race to represent the 5th District of Clinton, IN. Bishop was a coal miner, a clergyman, and a trade unionist, and president of the local Central Labor Union of Clinton, IN.  James L. Bishop received 745 votes but was not successful in his bid for the U.S. Congress in 1902. [The first African American member of the Indiana Legislature was James Sidney Hinton, 1881 House of Representatives.]

Rev. James Lee Bishop was the husband of Galveston Bishop (b. 1879 in TN); they married in 1897, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. He was later married to Rosa L. Bishop (b. 1886 in WV - d. 1952 in IN), according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. He died January 8, 1942 in Clinton, IN [see grave stone at Find A Grave]. He was the son of Charles and Angelina Bishop, who lived in Madisonville, KY [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census].

For more see "Nominated for Congress," Baltimore Afro-American, 10/18/1902, p. 1; and Marxism in United States History Before the Russian Revolution (1876-1917), by O. C. Johnson.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Hopkins County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Madisonville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Afro-American (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Marxism in United States history before the Russian Revolution (1876-1917)

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“Bishop, James Lee,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-06-26 18:13:18