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McDowell Delaney

Member From: 1871 - 1873

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  • Birth Date: June 30, 1844 Birth Place:Amelia County, Virginia
  • Death Date: May 30, 1926
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Mary P. Bolling (m. January 29, 1873)
  • Children: 4+
  • Religion: Baptist
  • Education:
  • Military Service:
  • Occupation/Profession: bricklayer, teacher, minister, and mason
  • Memberships/Affiliations: Chester Grove Baptist Church
  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Encyclopedia Virginia
    Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
  • Bio: McDowell Delaney represented Amelia County for one term in the House of Delegates (1871–1873). Born to free parents, Delaney worked for a Confederate infantry company during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and likely held a job later with the Freedmen’s Bureau. He entered politics by 1869, when he lost a race for the county’s House of Delegates seat. Two years later Delaney won by a large margin and sided with the majority in trying to circumvent the Funding Act of 1871. Divisions within the local Republican Party likely caused his failed reelection bid, though he did represent Amelia at a state convention of African Americans in 1875. In subsequent years Delaney served in a variety of local offices, including justice of the peace, coroner, and constable. He also became engaged in such occupations as operating an ordinary, repairing bridges, teaching, ministering in a Baptist church, and farming. He moved to Cumberland County and successfully applied for a Confederate pension in 1924. He died in 1926.

Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1871-1873 Amelia Republican Claims
Retrenchment and Economy

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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