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Sun, 08.12.1866

Thomas Calloway, Lawyer, and Administrator born

Thomas Calloway

*Thomas Calloway was born on this date in 1866. He was a lawyer and administrator.

Thomas Junius Calloway was born in Cleveland, Tenn. He was the fifth in a family of seven children. All the children attended Cleveland public schools; he graduated from Fisk University in 1889. He met his expense with a state scholarship by teaching and working at the University. Obtaining work in Chicago, he took a business college course. Later, while studying law at Howard University, he held a government position as a clerk in the special correspondence division of the War Department, from which he resigned to enter business for himself.

In educational work, he taught English in an Evansville (Ind.) high school and was principal of the Helena (Ark.) Normal School, president of the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, Miss., was assistant principal to Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute. A part of his work for the Negro has been in connection with expositions, beginning with the Atlanta Exposition in 1895, of which he was a state commissioner. 

In 1900, he was appointed special commissioner to the Paris Exposition by President McKinley to make an exhibit of Negro progress in the United States. This exhibit was awarded seventeen gold, silver, and bronze medals and was, in part, later exhibited at the Buffalo Exposition and Charleston. At the Jamestown Exposition in 1907, the government-appointed Calloway chairman of the committee was in charge of administrating the $100,000 Negro department. In a building, one of the most beautiful of the exposition, 210 by 129 feet, designed and erected by Negro skill and labor, were installed nearly ten thousand exhibits from fifteen hundred exhibitors.

The exhibits, showing the progress of the American Negro in education, agriculture, manufacture, inventions, and arts, were awarded twenty-five gold, fifty silver, and eighty-five bronze medals. Thomas Calloway died in 1930. His home, the Thomas J. Calloway House, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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