January 27: Philanthropist Pierre Toussaint Was Born on This Date in 1766

0 Posted by - January 27, 2022 - Birthdays, LATEST POSTS, On This Date

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Pierre Toussaint, a former slave from the Caribbean who emigrated to the United States, rose to prominence as one of the country’s most prominent Black philanthropists.

He was born on January 27, 1766, in the then-French province of Haiti. His owners moved him to New York City in 1787, where he became well-known. Following his release, he established himself as a very popular and successful hairdresser. His clientele included members of New York’s elite stratum of socialites.

Following his marriage in 1811, Toussaint and his wife engaged in a variety of humanitarian endeavors, including the establishment of an orphanage and the establishment of a center for assisting others in finding jobs. He donated money to Catholic charity and worked to gather finances for the construction of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York City.

In addition, he and his wife established a credit bureau, an employment agency, and a shelter for priests and needy foreign passengers.

Many Haitian exiles sought safety in New York. Since Toussaint was fluent in both French and English, he was regularly called upon to assist the newcomers.

Nearly a century after his birth, Toussaint passed away in 1853 at the age of 87.

No comments