Politician George Thompson Ruby worked as a correspondent for the Pine and Palm, a New England newspaper edited by James Redpath.
Thompson was born in New York on July 1, 1841, the son of Reuben and Rachel (Humphrey) Ruby. He was a free-born black, probably a mulatto. His family moved to Portland, Maine, while he was very young. After acquiring a sound liberal arts education there, he journeyed to Haiti.
While in Haiti, Ruby’s job was to send information about Haiti to the United States for black Americans seeking freedom from slavery and racial strife. He returned to the United States and settled in 1864 in Louisiana, where he was later employed as a schoolteacher.
After leaving Louisiana in September 1866 and being beaten by a white mob while trying to establish a common school at Jacksboro. He joined the Freedmen’s Bureau in Galveston, Texas. There he served as a correspondent for the New Orleans Tribune and taught school at the Methodist Episcopal Church of Galveston at a salary of $100 a month.
He later began publication of the short-lived Galveston Standard. Upon leaving Galveston he became a traveling agent for the bureau, a position in which he visited Washington, Austin, Bastrop, Fort Bend, and other counties, with the purpose of establishing chapters of the Union League, as well as temperance societies.
Ruby served in the capacity of a traveling agent until October 1867. In 1869 he was appointed deputy collector of customs at Galveston, a position in which he was an important patronage broker.
In the election of 1869, when many whites decided not to go to the polls, Ruby was elected to the state Senate from the predominantly white Twelfth District. As a senator, he became one of the most influential men of the Twelfth and Thirteenth legislatures. Ruby died of malaria in New Orleans on October 31, 1882.