Black and white photograph of Lucy Ann Lobdell, also called Joseph Israel Lobdell and La-Roi Lobell, ca. 1854.

Lucy Ann Lobdell

Lucy Ann Lobdell, also called Joseph Israel Lobdell and La-Roi Lobell, ca. 1854.

The Trial of Joseph Israel / Lucy Ann Lobdell, 1858

Joseph Israel Lobdell, also known as La-Roi and Lucy Ann Lobdell, spent two years in Minnesota in the late 1850s. In 1858, a Meeker County attorney charged him with impersonating a man, claiming that such an action was a crime. The judge trying the case disagreed, ruling that Lobdell (who had been assigned a female sex at birth) had committed no offense by dressing in men’s clothes.

Black and white photograph of Lafayette Bliss, ca. 1900. Photographed by the Yates sisters.

Lafayette Bliss

Lafayette Bliss, ca. 1900. Photographed by the Yates sisters.

Black and white photograph of William Wallace Braden, ca. 1863. Photographed by Joel Emmons Whitney.

William Wallace Braden

William Wallace Braden, ca. 1863. Photographed by Joel Emmons Whitney.

Black and white photograph of William T. Francis, from Northwestern Bulletin Appeal, November 1, 1924.

William Francis

William T. Francis, from Northwestern Bulletin Appeal, November 1, 1924. This is the last known photograph of Francis.

Black and white photograph of a young W.T. Francis. The image is from the St. Paul Appeal, May 2, 1903, p. 3, when Francis was thirty-four, but shows Francis years earlier. This is the first known photograph of him.

Young William T. Francis

A young W.T. Francis. The image is from the St. Paul Appeal, May 2, 1903, when Francis was thirty-four, but shows Francis years earlier. This is the first known photograph of him.

Black and white photograph of William T. Francis, ca. 1904.

William T. Francis

William T. Francis, ca. 1904.

Francis, William T. (1869–1929)

William T. Francis, Minnesota’s first African American diplomat, served as U.S. Minister and Consul to Liberia, West Africa, from 1927 until his death. He investigated and reported on Liberian government complicity in the forced labor of Liberian men and died in Monrovia of yellow fever on July 15, 1929.

Eugene Uphoff

Eugene Uphoff, one of the Freedom Riders from Minnesota, photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Freedom Rider Robert Baum photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

Robert Baum

Freedom Rider Robert Baum photographed after his arrest by the Jackson Police Department in Jackson, Mississippi on July 11, 1961.

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