Augustus Tolton was born a slave in Missouri in 1854. The Toltons escaped slavery during the Civil War, and moved to Quincy, Illinois. Their pastor welcomed Augustine into the parish school, and then helped him enter seminary in Rome. Newly-ordained Father Tolton, the first black American priest, was sent to establish a parish for African-American Catholics in Chicago. Beloved and hard-working, “Good Father Gus” died in 1897.
Chicago; Racial Injustice
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