Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
RAINEY, Joseph Hayne (1832-1887)

RAINEY, JOSEPH HAYNE, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Georgetown, Georgetown County, S.C., June 21, 1832; received a limited schooling; followed the trade of barber until 1862, when upon being forced to work on the Confederate fortifications in Charleston, S.C., he escaped to the West Indies and remained there until the close of the war; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1868; member of the State senate in 1870 but resigned; elected as a Republican to the Forty-first Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the action of the House of Representatives in declaring the seat of B. Franklin Whittemore vacant and was the first black to be elected to the House of Representatives; reelected to the Forty-second and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from December 12, 1870, to March 3, 1879; appointed internal-revenue agent of South Carolina on May 22, 1879, and served until July 15, 1881, when he resigned; engaged in banking and the brokerage business in Washington, D.C.; retired from all business activities in 1886, returned to Georgetown, S.C., and died there August 2, 1887; interment in the Baptist Cemetery.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: In the L.S. Alexander Gumby Collection of Negroiana, ca. 1800-1981, 88 linear feet.
The collection contains one letter from Joseph Hayne Rainey, written on March 29, 1874.

  • Holt, Thomas. "Rainey, Joseph Hayne." In Dictionary of American Negro Biography, edited by Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston. New York: Norton and Co., 1982.
  • "Joseph Hayne Rainey" in Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of History & Preservation, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2008.
  • Packwood, Cyril Outerbridge. Detour--Bermuda, Destination--U.S. House of Representatives: The Life of Joseph Hayne Rainey. Hamilton, Bermuda: Baxter's Limited, 1977.
  • Rainey, Joseph H. Deficiency Appropriation Bill. Washington: N.p., 1872.