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Maffitt, John Newland (1794-1850), Methodist preacher  

Robert E. Cray

Maffitt, John Newland (28 December 1794–28 May 1850), Methodist preacher, was born in Dublin, Ireland, to a middle-class family that belonged to the Church of Ireland, a branch of the Anglican church. Information about Maffitt’s family background and early life is decidedly spotty: his parents’ names are unknown, although we do know that his father died when Maffitt was twelve and that his mother shortly thereafter attempted to establish him in a mercantile establishment devoted to tailoring. One account claims he graduated from Trinity College. The teenage Maffitt indulged a love of reading novels and historical romances, however, until a conversion experience in a Methodist meeting at age eighteen or nineteen—accounts conflict on this score—convinced him to become a preacher. The Irish Methodist church did not recognize him as a licensed preacher, and his sporadic attempts at evangelical work both in and beyond Dublin were a mixed success at best. Even so, he displayed a highly melodramatic style, which would personify his later career in the United States. He married Ann Carnic at age twenty. They had seven children; the oldest son, ...

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Newton, Huey P. (1942-1989), leader of the Black Panther Party  

Kathleen N. Cleaver

Newton, Huey P. (17 February 1942–22 August 1989), leader of the Black Panther Party, was born Huey Percy Newton in Monroe, Louisiana, the son of Amelia Johnson Newton and Walter Newton, a sharecropper and Baptist preacher. Walter Newton so admired Louisiana’s populist governor ...

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Cover Newton, Huey P. (1942-1989)
Huey P. Newton. Photolithographic halftone poster, c. 1968, by Unidentified Artist. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Rockwell, George Lincoln (1918-1967), leader of the American Nazi Party  

Sharon D. Rudy

Rockwell, George Lincoln (09 March 1918–25 August 1967), leader of the American Nazi Party, was born in Bloomington, Illinois, the son of George “Doc” Rockwell, a vaudeville comedian, and Claire Schade, a dancer. Rockwell was six when his parents divorced; from then on he lived with one or the other of his parents in Maine, Rhode Island, and New Jersey....

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Turner, Jack (1840?–19 August 1882), political activist and party organizer  

Mamie E. Locke

Turner, Jack (1840?–19 August 1882), political activist and party organizer, was born a slave in Alabama. His parents’ names are unknown. He lived on the Choctaw County farm of Beloved Love Turner, from whom he acquired his surname after emancipation. Turner had no formal education but was described as articulate, perceptive, and courageous, with a commanding physical presence. He married Chloe (maiden name unknown) in the late 1860s, and they had four children. He remained in Choctaw County after being freed, working as a farm laborer around Mount Sterling and Tuscahoma....