Black Abolitionist: Reverend William Washington Browne

1 Posted by - August 30, 2018 - BLACK ABOLITIONIST, Black History, LATEST POSTS

By Lestey Gist, The Gist of Freedom

Reverend William Washington BrowneReverend William Washington Browne, educator and businessman, organized the True Reformers Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia, the first black bank in the United States to receive a charter. At its peak in 1907, it took in more than $1 million in deposits.

The bank continued to thrive after his death, expanding into a number of other services including a newspaper, a real estate agency, a retirement home and a building and loan association. New branches opened as far away as Kansas, and by 1900 the bank was operating in 24 states, owning property valued at a total of $223,500.

Browne was one of only eight men, including Booker T. Washington, selected to represent African Americans at the Cotton States and International Exposition in 1895. After his death, Browne’s funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Richmond’s black community.
————————-

Click and Learn more about Black Abolitionists on
The Gist of Freedom~ As We Read and Discuss Benjamin Quarles’ book, Black Abolitionists chapter 2

WWW.BlackHistoryBLOG.com
—————

William Washington Browne, educator, minister, and businessman, died. Browne was born enslaved October 20, 1849 in Habersham County, Georgia. At 15, he ran away and joined the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he attended school in Wisconsin and then returned to the South in 1869 to teach in Georgia and Alabama. After becoming a Methodist minister in 1876, he urged the formation of groups to pool money and buy land. In 1889, he organized the True Reformers Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia, the first black bank in the United States to receive a charter. At its peak in 1907, it took in more than $1 million in deposits. Browne was one of only eight men, including Booker T. Washington, selected to represent African Americans at the Cotton States and International Exposition in 1895. After his death, Browne’s funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Richmond’s black community. (Source: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History)

The Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain United Order of True Reformers Bank opened a year after its founding, initially operating out of Browne’s home at 105 West Jackson Street in the Jackson Ward district of Richmond, Virginia. The first day’s deposits totaled $1,269.28. In 1891, the bank moved several blocks away to 604-608 North Second Street. The bank grew and survived the financial panic of 1893, during which it was the only bank in Richmond to maintain full operation, honoring all checks and paying out the full value of accounts.

Rev. Browne died in 1897 but the bank continued to thrive after his death, expanding into a number of other services including a newspaper, a real estate agency, a retirement home and a building and loan association. New branches opened as far away as Kansas, and by 1900 the bank was operating in 24 states, owning property valued at a total of $223,500.

Sources:

http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah%2Ftrue-reformers-bank-1888-1910

https://www.facebook.com/lesley.Gist/media_set?set=a.4273972932933.2152976.1394470264&type=3&pnref=story&__mref=message_bubble

No comments

Leave a reply