Emanuel Handy


Emanuel Handy
Photo provided by Bianca. Please do not use elsewhere.

Emanuel Handy (Copiah County)

State House: 1870-1873

Born: c. 1834 in Mississippi
Died: December 8, 1922 in Kansas

Served with the 82nd Regiment of the U.S. Colored Troops, ending his service as a second sergeant. He was a representative at the 1868 constitutional convention, where he proposed a requirement for electors to have an “acceptance of the civil and political equality of all men.”

Handy was listed on the 1870 census in Copiah County with wife Hannah and several children. By 1880, he had moved to Kansas, where he also ran for political office. He spent the last decades of his life in Atchison, Kansas, with wife Kate and is buried there at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Handy’s great-granddaughter, D. Antoinette Handy, was a musician and professor who supported Black musicians through the grant program at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Handy’s grandsons through Emanuel Handy, Jr. Photo provided by Bianca. Please do not use elsewhere.
Signature of Emanuel Handy, from an 1871 petition to Governor Alcorn

“Against All Odds: Telling the Stories of the First Black Legislators in Mississippi,” conversation with site creator DeeDee Baldwin, Albright descendant Karen Burch, and Handy descendant Bianca Ford. May 21, 2021.

Memorial on Find A Grave

Clarion-Ledger, January 18, 1868
Western Reserve Chronicle, Jul 29, 1868
Tri-Weekly Clarion, March 4, 1869
New National Era, March 6, 1873
Topeka State Journal, October 11, 1881
Topeka State Journal, November 4, 1881
Topeka State Journal, November 3, 1882
Topeka State Capital, October 6, 1883
Daily Commonwealth, October 7, 1883
Leavenworth Times, January 18, 1905
Topeka Daily Capital, January 15, 1906
Topeka State Capital, April 17, 1907
Topeka State Journal, August 16, 1907
Daily Champion, December 2, 1907
Daily Champion, Oct 17, 1908
Brown County World, October 30, 1908
Kansas-Republican, October 31, 1911
Topeka State Journal, July 6, 1912
Leavenworth Times, August 5, 1913
Beloit Daily Call, December 12, 1914
Atchison Champion, March 2, 1916
Topeka Daily Capital, November 21, 1916
The Negro Star, December 22, 1922
Topeka Plaindealer, December 22, 1922
Headstone Application for Emanuel Handy
Atchison Daily Globe, February 13, 1975
Atchison Daily Globe, February 20, 1975
Atchison Daily Globe, February 27, 1975