John Russwurm was born on October 1, 1799 in Jamaica. He was the son of a white American merchant and an unknown black Jamaican woman. He was sent to Canada by his father to receive an education.
Russwurm became the second African American to earn a degree in the United States in 1826. He moved to New York the following year, and partnered with Samuel Cornish and together they published the first issue of Freedom’s Journal.
He obtained control of the Freedom’s Journal paper until 1829. Russwurm decided to move to Liberia due to his frustration over the impossibility of ending slavery. He was the first nonwhite to become governor in Liberia Colony, West Africa.
Russwurm learned African languages and participated in politics. He died in Liberia in 1851.
For more information visit: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/russwurm-john-1799-1851