John Willis Menard was the first African-American elected to the U.S. Congress, in 1868. However, he was denied his seat. He was born on April 3, 1838 in Kashaskia, Illinois. Menard moved to Florida, where he served in the Florida State House of Representatives in 1874, and where he was elected as justice of the peace for Duval County, in 1874 and again in 1877. He was a poet, and the author of Lays in Summer Lands (1879). Menard was also the editor of the Florida News and the Southern Leader from 1882 to 1888. He died on October 8, 1893 in Washington, D.C.
- Waiting at Live Oak
- A poem about waiting for a train at the Live Oak, Florida Junction written in the 1800s.
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FCIT, "John Willis Menard author page." Accessed March 08, 2014..