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William W. Evans

Member From: 1887 - 1888

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  • Birth Date: 1860 Birth Place:Dinwiddie County, Virginia
  • Death Date: November 16, 1892
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
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  • Occupation/Profession: Newspaper Editor of The Virginia Lancet, Lawyer, Notary Public, Clerk in the Navy yard
  • Memberships/Affiliations: Colored Agricultural and Industrial Association of Virginia, secretary of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute
  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Encyclopedia Virginia
    Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
  • Bio: William W. Evans served one term in the House of Delegates (1887–1888). Evans, whose father served in both houses of the General Assembly, was born enslaved and became involved with politics by 1882, when Petersburg‘s voters elected him city gauger. By August 1887 Evans had become editor of the Virginia Lancet, a Republican newspaper that he used to advocate improvements in the political and material lives of African Americans. In November of that year he won a seat in the House of Delegates, representing Petersburg. He remained loyal to the Republican Party leader William Mahone during a bruising congressional race in 1888, ultimately won by the independent candidate John Mercer Langston. That year Evans obtained a law license and established a practice in Petersburg. Later he worked in Portsmouth until ill health caused him to move back to Petersburg, where he died in 1892.
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1887-1888 Petersburg Republican Militia and Police
Officers and Offices at the Capitol

*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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