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Gates, Frederick Taylor (02 July 1853–06 February 1929), Baptist minister and philanthropic and business adviser, was born near Maine, in Broome County, New York, the son of Granville Gates, a Baptist minister, and Sarah Jane Bowers. During his childhood the Gates family moved frequently as his father changed pulpits. Young Frederick received his education in the public schools, beginning in Centre Lisle, then in Brookton in Tompkins County (1862–1866), and then in Ovid in Seneca County, where he attended two terms of the East Genisee Conference Seminary (1866–1867)....

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Marshall, Andrew Cox (1756–11 December 1856), pastor and businessman, probably, was born in Goose Creek, South Carolina. His mother was a slave and his father was the English overseer on the plantation where the family lived; their names are unknown. Shortly after Marshall’s birth, his father died while on a trip to England, thus ending abruptly the Englishman’s plans to free his family. Marshall, his mother, and an older sibling (whose sex is not revealed in extant records) were subsequently sold to ...

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Meachum, John Berry (1790?–1854), craftsman, minister, and businessman, was born a slave in Virginia. The names of his father, a Baptist preacher, and his mother are unknown. A skilled carpenter and cooper, he was allowed to save some of his earnings, and eventually he bought his freedom. Moving to Louisville, Kentucky, he married a slave, Mary, and then purchased her out of bondage; they would have an unknown number of children. About 1815 he moved with his wife to St. Louis, reportedly with only $3 in his pocket. There Meachum used the carpentry skills he had learned under slavery to find a job as a cooper. He established his own cooper’s shop a few years later and began buying St. Louis real estate....