• seperator

Claudius Langdon Forney

If one can believe the presidential election polls we are about to have our first black president which will be a milestone by any measurement. Interestingly enough Senator Obama can not trace his direct ancestry to any American slaves as most American blacks can or claim. None the less he is a political pioneer which reminds me of a 1937 dated National Guard Medical Department Lieutenant’s Commission named to Claudius Langdon Forney. I bought it from Haag’s Antiques in Columbus, Wisconsin about 4-5 years ago. I like medical stuff and the name sounded black so how could I resist? A quick name check on Google found the name listed in the 1940 edition of Who’s Who in Colored America as a Physician. The Social Security Death Index lists the doctor as an Illinois resident from the Chicago area with life dates of 1897-1969. Then I checked my 1940 Illinois National Guard book and there was his picture as a Captain in the Eighth Infantry Headquarters Company Medical Staff. To become a black doctor in the America of the 1920’s he must have been an exceptional man. At the time of his death America was being torn apart by race riots. I wonder what would he say if he could see the potential Obama presidency of today?

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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