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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Wordless Wednesday – May 28, 2008 Folow-up

The picture that I included in my first Wordless Wednesday post for this blog is that of Dr. Robert Fulton Boyd (1855-1912). The photo comes from the December 9, 1899 issue of the black newspaper, The Colored American.

Along with the picture is a short article informing readers that Nashville has two Dr. Boyds. “…R.F. Boyd, a doctor of medicine, who is a professor of gynecology or something like that, in Meharry Medical College. This Dr. Boyd has a singular hobby – buying property, farms and things and building great big office buildings right in among the white folks. This fellow has just finished a building, a pressed brick structure, with something like 50 rooms in it and sandwiched it right in between a Cathedral and the leading hotel in the city. Then he had the irrepressible nerve to hire a Negro stone-mason to chisel his black name “Boyd” on a big piece of marble and to put it way up high, between the fifth and sixth stories, so everybody could see it. Now, what do you think of this chap?”

That’s great! I am pretty sure I’ve seen a picture of this building, but will have to dig it back out. Maybe not. I wonder if the black stone-mason was McKissack (whom I have blogged about before.)? I have previously added a picture of Dr. R.F. Boyd’s headstone to FindAGrave and I have just added this picture. Should be of interest to anyone who has him in their family tree.

The other Dr. Boyd mentioned in the article is Richard Henry Boyd (1843-1922). From the article “…this Boyd runs a publishing house and employs seven five Negroes and pays his proof readers and big dogs in his house $20 and $25 a week. This Boyd has a hobby – buying fine printing material. The other day he put in a big Babcock press worth $4000. He now has four big presses running constantly, and the only complete bindery for the product of big books owned by Negroes. The publishing business is conducted in two magnificent buildings, and the property, which the Board owns, and the plant, is valued at $80,000.”

Interestingly enough, this weekend as I was adding burial listings to the Greenwood Cemetery, I added the grave of Sadie B. Wilson who “served under three generation of Boyds at the National Baptist Publishing Board.” Richard Henry Boyd is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, but I have not yet found him. I will be going back to do more pictures this weekend, so maybe I’ll find him soon.

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