Ambrose Henderson (Chickasaw County)
State House: 1870-1871
Born: c. 1830 in Chapel Hill, NC
Baptist minister. Appointed to be lieutenant colonel of the Chickasaw County militia in 1873. Member of the Board of Trustees of Alcorn University.
Henderson had been enslaved by Col. W. G. Henderson, of whom he wrote in 1870 in a letter to the governor supporting his former master for political office: “Boys together as we were, he is the centre of the tenderest associations of my life. Arrived at manhoods estate, I was still intimately connected with him in the relation of his body servant. When he was wounded at Upperville, Virginia enroute for Gettysburg, he languished in the Valley of Virginia in the hands of the Federal authorities until it was my privilege to take him away, secretly, through the lines to his own people.”
Henderson, wife Jenny, and their children are listed in the 1870 and 1880 census in Okolona. He appears on the 1900 census with second wife Addie and two children. His age varies widely on census records.
“Rev. A. Henderson was born at Chapel Hill near Raleigh, N.C. He early learned to read the Bible, in which he took great delight. At the age of 16 he was converted and joined the First Baptist church, Aberdeen, Miss. He felt that he was divinely called to the ministry when he was first converted, but did not respond until he was also called by the people in 1861. After he had begun his pastoral work, in 1865, he was sent by his church to Nashville, Tenn., to meet the A. B. Convention for ordination. On his return home he baptized 57 candidates into the fellowship of the Second Baptist church, Okolona. For twenty successive years he baptized from 10 to 50 happy persons into the fellowship of this church… Rev. Henderson organized well nigh all the Baptist churches in Chickasaw county.”
(Patrick H. Thompson, The History of Negro Baptists in Mississippi, 1898)