Monday, March 1, 2010

Coming Soon: Black Man's Beat--On Being a Black Cop in DC's Gilded Age

March 17th, 1892:  

An excited Noah E. Sedgwick dipped his pen in ink and began a letter to John W. Ross, Commissioner of the District of Columbia:  

Dr. Sir, I have the honor to make application for a patrol driver or the like under your branch of the District Government.  I will faithfully discharge [sic] the duties assigned me. Your obedient Servnt, Noah Sedwick.

A month later, Sedgwick once again took up the pen and filled out an application for appointment to the Metropolitan Police Department:

13.    Have you ever been indicted and convicted of any crime?  Have not.
14.    Are you addicted to the use of intoxicating liquors, morphine or opium?  Not.
15.    Have you ever been addicted to the use of any of these articles?  No.
16.    When did you last drink intoxicating liquors?  March 11th, 92.

The application even asked whether Sedgwick suffered from piles or rheumatism.   

It did not, however, ask him his race.   As if this did not matter...


Chuck Gallagher said...

Looking forward to, the rest of the story...

Quondam Washington said...

Quondam Washington is typing as fast as her little fingers will allow--glad you're looking forward to it and thanks for being a reader!

Subscribe to HistoricWashington

Powered by