Documenting William H. Heard (1850-1937) 1905 Until His Death in 1937

Robin Foster
by Robin Foster
Bishop William Henry Heard
RT. Rev. WM. H. Heard, D.D., The missionary fields of West Africa: illustrated / by W.H. … Heard, William H. (William Henry), 1850-1937, page 3, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt

I feel that it has been well worth our while tracing resources along the timeline of Bishop William H. Heard. This section covers about the last thirty or more years of his life. He has been a great person to take a look at because the records found on him mention many other people who lived in the same places he did. So, you can once again like the other blog posts, pick a period along the timeline and read about the event I found and find the names of people he was involved with. The last blog covering the timeline of Bishop Heard was Documenting William H. Heard Between 1881 and 1904.

During the remainder of his life, resources exist to document Bishop Heard’s life and bring to light other African Americans. For patrons who are researching people who were contemporary to Bishop Heard, I am happy with the resources we have brought forward in this series of posts because you have been enlightened with more options in the different areas he served. More research can be done to bring more resources forward that can be used.

1911: Three Years Work in West Africa

Three Years Work in West Africa
William H. 1850-1937. Three Years Work in West Africa, Philadelphia : A.M.E. Book Concern, 1911, page 1

Three Years in West Africa is only 46 pages long, but it documents many people who lived in West Africa and who served there after living in the United States. If you find that some family members seem to have disappeared, read this and other books to determine if they actually left the United States for a period of time or permanently.

Much yet can be researched. The Missionary Work of the A.M.E. Church was led by the Parent Home and Foreign Missionary Department of New York. This publication gives the mission department and its auxiliaries. Photos were taken of conferences, day schools, and seminaries in the mission field of West Africa over a three-year period.

1914: The Message of Bishop Heard, Negro in Virginia, Minnesota

I found this article in The Virginia enterprise in Virginia, St. Louis County, Minnesota on 03 April 1914 in  Chronicling America. Bishop Heard had spent six years in Liberia, and he believed the black man could attain rights and independence living there.

I am using this article to show you that there is no telling where you can find articles in historic newspapers.

The Message of William Heard
The Message of Bishop Heard, Negro. The Virginia enterprise. [volume] (Virginia, St. Louis County, Minn.), 03 April 1914. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

1937: Trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, Death in United States

Bishop Heard was active in his church until his death. In August, a month before his death, he and his niece embarked to the second World Conference on Faith and Order in Edinburgh, Scotland. “He was the oldest delegate and the oldest A.M.E. Bishop, a former slave who had organized black railroad workers in the American South before entering the ranks of the clergy, winning a major court battle against segregation in 1877 and serving as U.S. consul-general in Liberia in the 1890’s. Now ninety, Heard was one of many hundreds of African Americans increasingly visible in the Britain and on the European continent.”

“But the Bishop and his niece were denied a hotel room on that summer day in Edinburgh, the hotel’s owner pleading white American tourists had pressured him not to let rooms to blacks, asking that the segregationist practices  that had obtained in the United States prevail in Scotland so that they might feel entirely at home,” from Scottsboro to Munich:  Race and Political in 1930s Britain, by Susan D. Pennybacker.

This made the news in the United States and the research of the occurrence as well as the death of Bishop Heard a month later can lead to other resources. Many articles document from around the United States document his death. Here is one article from The New York Times:

Bishop W.H. Heard Clergyman 67 Years
Bishop William H. Heard, Bishop W. H. Heard Clergyman 67 Years, The New York Times, 13 September 1937, New York, New York, https://www.nytimes.com/1937/09/13/archives/bishop-w-h-heard-clergyman-67-years-headed-first-district-of.html
Bishop William H. Heard, Bishop W. H. Heard Clergyman 67 Years, The New York Times, 13 September 1937, New York, New York, https://www.nytimes.com/1937/09/13/archives/bishop-w-h-heard-clergyman-67-years-headed-first-district-of.html

Sharpen the Saw

We would like to know if you were able to use any of the resources that we used to document Bishop William H. Heard. Of the four blog posts on the timeline of the life of Bishop William H. Heard that brought forth resources, do you have an ancestor who would have been in the same location? Did you know about that resource before this series was made available? What are the leads that you will investigate further? Let us know in our Facebook Group.

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