Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett

In 1869, Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett (1833–1908), born in Derby, Connecticut, became the first African-American diplomat and the first American black to receive a major appointment from the United States government when President Ulysses S. Grant named him United States Minister to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He grew up in a racially mixed environment. With his father having fled slavery in the South and his mother being a Pequot Indian, he became the first black student at the Connecticut Normal School (today, Central Connecticut State University) and taught school for 14 years in Philadelphia. After leaving Haiti at the end of the Grant administration in 1877, he served for 10 years as the American Consul General for Haiti in New York City. 

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