Blacks@Dartmouth 1775 to 1960

William Henry Furniss

Assistant to secretary of state of Mississippi, educator, and government postal worker

alumnus image

Dartmouth College

Class of 1862

Born  1846  Williamsbug NY

Died 1920 Hartford CT

Quotes from Biographical Sources

Mr. Furniss, who was of the Negro race, came to college from Williamsburg, N. Y. He was seventy-eight years old at the time of his death. His history for some years after leaving college has not been ascertained. In the days of reconstruction he served for a time as assistant secretary of state of Mississippi, and later taught in Alcorn College, Mississippi, and Lincoln Institute, Missouri, and in the public schools of Indianapolis, Ind.

In 1882 he was appointed to a clerkship in the Indianapolis postoffice, and served until he was retired on a pension in July 1920. He had been suffering from acute melancholia for some time before his death.

One son [is Dr. H. W. Furnisss]. Another is Dr. Sumner A. Furniss of Indianapolis.

Necrology. (Feb 1921). Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, 13(4), 247-248.

Other source(s)

  1. (1972). In Louis R. Harlan, Raymond W. Smock, & Barbara S. Kraft (Eds.), The Booker T. Washington Papers: 1899-1900 (Vol. 5, pp. 464): University of Illinois Press.
  2. Happy, Richard. (2018). Under the Radar. The Little Known Story of Dr. Henry Watson Furniss: an African-American Pioneer.