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date: 25 February 2020

Wesley, Charles Harrislocked

(02 December 1891–16 August 1987)
  • Constance Porter Uzelac

Extract

Wesley, Charles Harris (02 December 1891–16 August 1987), historian and educator, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Charles Snowden Wesley, an undertaker, and Matilda Harris, a seamstress and later a secretary. His father, who died in 1902, had worked in an “undertaking establishment under his stepfather who had a large funeral plant with a showroom, a chapel, embalming room and a stable for horses and carriages.” Wesley’s mother referred to his father as a “brilliant conversationalist.” When he was a child his mother sang in the choir of Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. After his father’s death Wesley’s maternal grandfather became his “father figure.” Wesley received his early education in Louisville. Around 1906, at age fourteen, he entered the Fisk Preparatory School, where he was active with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Wesley appeared with this group at the 1911 World’s Fair in Boston. In 1912 a recording of the group was made with Columbia Broadcasting Company, under the name of Aeolian Quartette, which included ...

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