Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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JORD0N, Edward, a West Indian statesman, born in Kingston, Jamaica, 13 November, 1801; died in St. Andrews, Jamaica, 8 February, 1869. He was a quadroon, and in his youth suffered from the social proscription and political disabilities to which the colored people were at that time subjected in all the West India colonies of England. He had received a good education, and began agitation with the view of obtaining political rights for the free colored population. Having succeeded in securing these, he became a zealous advocate of emancipation, calling on his enfranchised countrymen of the colored class to unite with the anti-slavery party of England in bringing about this result. For expressions that were used in a newspaper of which he was editor he was put on his trial for treason, with the certainty of being hanged if convicted; but the firmness of one man on the jury saved his life. About the time of the passage of the emancipation act Jordon was elected a member of the Jamaica house of assembly, and thenceforward he rose until he had been successively member of the privy council, prime minister in the first executive committee under Sir Henry Barkly's administration, speaker of the house of assembly, receiver-general, and finally colonial secretary. He became a commander of the bath in 1854, the first instance in which this honor was given to a colored man.
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