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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RAINEY, Joseph H., congressman, born in Georgetown, South Carolina, 21 June, 1832 ; died there, 1 August, 1887. He was born a slave, but acquired a good education, principally by observation and travel. His father was a barber, and the son followed that occupation until 1862, when, after being forced to work on Confederate fortifications, he escaped to the West Indies, remaining there until the close of the war. He then returned to South Carolina, was elected a delegate to the State constitutional convention of 1868, and was a member of the state senate in 1870. He was elected a representative from South Carolina to congress, as a Republican, to fill the vacancy caused by the non-reception of Benjamin F. Whittemore, serving from 4 March, 1869, till 15 August, 1876. He took part in the debate on the civil-rights bill, and was a member of the committee on freedmen's and Indian affairs. He was a conservative, and his political life was remarkably pure.
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