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Samuel Cornish


While in New York, Abdul Rahman befriended several African American pastors, among them Rev. Samuel Cornish, a Presbyterian pastor and agent of the African Free School; Cornish was asked to give Abdul Rahman a tour of the building. Born a free black man in Delaware in 1795, Cornish later founded, along with John Brown Russwurm, Freedom's Journal, the first black-owned and operated newspaper in the United States. The paper was a vital mouthpiece for articulating black perspectives and shaping African American consciousness. In addition, it challenged white perspectives by giving voice to what African Americans thought and felt about their circumstances.

Samuel Cornish

Cornish was connected to many of the other figures with whom Abdul Rahman interacting during his Northern tour. Several years after Abdul Rahman's visit, Cornish joined Arthur Tappan and others to found the American Antislavery Society. In 1829, Cornish also confronted Thomas Gallaudet, challenging his position on colonization.