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Mon, 04.05.1824

Moses Dickson, Minister, and Soldier born

Moses Dickson

Moses Dickson was born on this date in 1824. He was a Black abolitionist, soldier, and minister.

Born free in Cincinnati, he worked on steamboats during the American Civil War and saw first hand the horrors of slavery. In 1846, the Reverend Moses Dickson met with eleven other Black men in St. Louis and founded the Twelve Knights of Tabor. (They were also called the Knights of Liberty.) This group was a secret society for Blacks who wanted to fight for freedom from slavery.  That organization used St. Louis as its headquarters and aided hundreds of slaves to freedom.

Despite the general animosity toward them, some free Blacks were able to overcome many of the obstacles. Dickson’s efforts aided the Underground Railroad until the Civil War began. Then he enlisted in the Union Army. Dickson later became an ordained minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church & preached at several churches in the St. Louis area. He was one of the founders of Lincoln Institute, which is now Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. He added the International Order of Twelve Knights & Daughters of Tabor (a Black philanthropic organization) in 1872.

He served as president of the Refugee Relief Board in St. Louis, which helped to feed, shelter & relocate 16,000 former slaves who were immigrating to Kansas. Moses Dickson died on Nov. 28, 1901.


Africana The Encyclopedia of the African and
African American Experience
Editors: Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Copyright 1999
ISBN 0-465-0071-1

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