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Edwin Henry Hackley
*Edwin Henry Hackley was born on this date in 1859. He was a Black lawyer and journalist.
His parents were John Hackley and Susan Belmore Hackley from Romeo, Michigan. As a child, he had pneumonia that affected his health into adulthood, and he was black middle class. After graduating from high school, Hackley attended the University of Michigan in the early 1800s. Sick with tuberculosis, he completed much of his coursework remotely to earn his law degree. Hackley passed the bar in Michigan in 1883 after receiving his law degree.
He traveled to Colorado and was admitted to the Colorado Bar Association on June 7, 1883, becoming the first African American to become a lawyer in Colorado. Hackley worked intermittently as a clerk and a lawyer. He worked as the Denver County Clerk beginning in 1886. Hackley practiced law and argued cases in court when he could but did not receive enough business to sustain a law practice. He became an Abstract Clerk, a position he held for almost 14 years.
On January 29, 1894, Hackley married Emma A. Smith. Before their marriage, she taught at the Clinton School in Detroit. After she moved to Denver, Azalia trained at a musical conservatory. Hackley believed the only way to resolve racial division in the country was for black emigration to the African continent. Finding the National Afro-American League ineffective in meeting their key goals to create more opportunities for advancement and to realize equitable civil rights for African Americans, Hackley led the establishment of the American Citizen's Constitutional Union in Denver on December 8, 1891. Hackley was a member of the Colored Odd Fellowship, holding the position of grandmaster by 1898.
In 1892, he became the editor and publisher of The Statesman (Denver, Colorado), a paper written for the city's African American–Republican community. His poem Who Led These Men, about the bravery of U.S. Army soldiers during the Spanish-American War, was published in newspapers in 1900. He moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he wrote dramatic compositions. The couple separated after they moved to Philadelphia. In 1930, he published Hackley & Harrison's Hotel and apartment guide for colored travelers, six years before The Negro Motorist Green Book was published. Edwin Hackley died on July 11, 1940, at 81.