Judge Robert Herbert Terrell's Harvard Diploma

Judge Robert Herbert Terrell's Harvard Diploma

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Description (Brief)
Diploma awarded to Judge Robert Herbert Terrell from Harvard University. Rectangular. Gothic type of print in Latin: "SENATUS [/] COLLEGII [/] HARVADIANI [/] HEADEMICUS..." In wooden frame, circa 1890.
Despite bitter opposition to his appointment from Southern Democratic Senators, Terrell became the first African American judge in the nation's capital on January 15, 1910, a position in which he served until his death in 1925. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, November 27, 1857, he was educated in DC Public Schools, Groton Academy in Massachusetts, and graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1884. He taught in DC public schools while working as chief clerk in the office of the auditory of the U.S. Treasury and was principal of the Preparatory School for Colored Youth where he met his future wife, Mary Church Terrell when she accepted a teaching post at the school. He earned his LL.M. from Howard University Law School in 1893 and practiced law in the city from 1892 until 1898, returning to teaching and becoming principal of the M Street High School before becoming a municipal judge and teaching at Howard University Law School. In 1911, he became a charter member of Sigma Pi Phi, the oldest black fraternity in the nation.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Diploma
Object Type
Diploma
commencements
Date made
1884
associated person
Terrell, Robert Herbert
associated institution
Harvard University
maker
Harvard University
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridge
Physical Description
ink (overall material)
parchment (overall material)
wood (frame material)
glass (frame material)
Measurements
overall: 49.5 cm x 58.4 cm x 2.5 cm; 19 1/2 in x 23 in x in
ID Number
1984.0287.01
accession number
1984.0287
catalog number
1984.0287.01
Credit Line
George Aneiro
subject
Education
African American
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Education
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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