Charles L. Reason was born on this date, July 21, in 1818. He was a Black mathematician, abolitionist and teacher.
Charles Lewis Reason was from New York City. His parents, Michael and Elizabeth Reason were West Indies immigrants. Early in his life he attended the African Free School along with his brothers Elmer and Patrick. He was an excellent student in mathematics and became an instructor in 1832 at the school at age fourteen, receiving a salary of $25 a year. He used some of his money to hire tutors and later he entered the ministry. Reason was rejected by the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City for this career because of his race and resigned in protest from St. Philip’s Church (the congregation sponsored his application). He then studied at McGrawville College in McGraw, New York.
Reason helped draft a call to the first New York State Convention of Negroes in 1840 and advocated a manual-labor school to provide training in the industrial arts for Blacks. After this he created a normal (teaching) school as a answer to the charge that Black teachers were inefficient and incompetent. His pursuit of a career in education was strongly based on his belief that it was the best means for Black advancement. [Continue reading at the African American Registry.]