Henry P. Jacobs

Henry P. Jacobs
from The History of Negro Baptists in Mississippi

Henry P. Jacobs (Adams County)

State House: 1870-1879

Born: 1825 in St. Clair County, AL
Died: December 14, 1899 in Natchez, MS

Jacobs and his family are listed on the 1860 census in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and on the 1870 census in Natchez. On a freedman’s bank application, Jacobs stated that his mother was named Mary Dill.

“Much more able than Aaron Moore was Henry P. Jacobs, Baptist preacher and organizer from Adams County. Born in Alabama, he learned to read and write from an insane man for whom he was caretaker. Thus prepared for freedom, he wrote his own pass, and in 1856 cleverly arranged an escape to the North for himself, his wife, three children, and a brother-in-law. After spending some time in Canada, he returned to Michigan. During the war, he went to Natchez, Mississippi, and there began the remarkable work of organizing Baptist Associations throughout the western portion of the state. Although the membership of his church was generally more radical than that of the other denominations, Jacobs himself, both in the [1868 constitutional] convention and in the legislature, was inclined toward moderation and compromise.”
(Vernon Lane Wharton, The Negro in Mississippi, 1865-1890, 1965)

“He also helped organize the Union League and in 1868 tried to negotiate the purchase of a large plantation for a group of freedmen, using veterans’ bounties for funding. When the Freedmen’s Bureau refused his plea to assist in the project, it collapsed.”
(Eric Foner, Freedom’s Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction, 1993)

Links:
Memorial on Find A Grave

H.P. Jacobs: Ypsilanti’s Builder of African-American Worlds (includes portrait and extensive biography)

Natchez Democrat, June 13, 1867
Weekly Democrat, September 21, 1867
Weekly Democrat, September 23, 1867
Natchez Bulletin, June 14, 1869
Weekly Democrat, August 26, 1869
Vicksburg Daily Times, July 16, 1870
Weekly Louisianian, April 11, 1872
Times-Picayune, April 12, 1872
Natchez Democrat, August 24, 1872
New National Era, April 3, 1873
Weekly Mississippi Pilot, Jan 9, 1875
Clarion Ledger, February 17, 1876
Cincinnati Commercial, October 17, 1879
Weekly Democrat, September 2, 1885
Weekly Democrat, September 25, 1889
Weekly Democrat, September 25, 1889
Natchez Democrat, December 23, 1899