Rev. Dr. Henry Highland Garnet, former slave and pastor of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church, becomes the first African-American to deliver a sermon to the U.S. House of Representatives, ”commemorating the victory of the Union armies and the deliverance of the country from slavery.”
Pres. Lincoln had arranged for this special sermon, with full consent of his Cabinet, on the President’s 56th birthday.
In 1881, Garnet was appointed U.S. minister to Liberia but died only 2 months after his appointment.