Judge Robert H. Terrell presidential certificates, 1905-1918
District of Columbia Municipal Court
3 certificates (1 mapcase folder)
Judge Robert H. Terrell (1857-1925) was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. As was the case for most African American youths born during this time, Terrell was educated in public schools. He attended schools in the District of Columbia and was a graduate of the Groton Academy in Groton, Massachusetts. In order to pursue his college education, Terrell worked in a dining hall at Harvard. He was one of seven magna cum laude scholars to graduate from Harvard in June 1884. After graduation, he found work in schools within the Washington D.C. area. After teaching for a few years, Terrell decided to attend law school and chose the Howard University Law School. He earned his LL.B. in 1889 and his LL.M. in 1893. In 1889, Terrell resigned from his job as a teacher in order to accept a position as the chief clerk in the office of the auditor of the U.S. Treasury. 1901, Terrell accepted an appointment to serve as a justice of the peace in Washington D.C, making him the first African American justice of the peace. In 1905, Terrell was appointed to the Municipal Courts of the District of Columbia; he served in this capacity until his death. Terrell also was a member of the faculty at the Howard University Law School from 1910 to 1925.
This collection consists of three presidential certificates, issued to Judge Robert H. Terrell and indicating his appointment to the District of Columbia Municipal Court bench. The certificates were signed by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson in 1905, 1910 and 1918, respectively.
Judge Robert H. Terrell presidential certificates, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution