Charles Edmund Nash
|Charles Edmund Nash|
March 4, 1875 – March 4, 1877
|Born|| May 23, 1844|
St. Landry Parish
|Died|| June 21, 1913 (aged 69)|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Resting place|| St. Louis Cemetery III|
in New Orleans
Sergeant major in
Charles Edmund Nash (May 23, 1844 – June 21, 1913) was from 1875 to 1877 the only African American to represent Louisiana in the United States House of Representatives. His service came near the end of Reconstruction. A Republican, he was unseated in 1876 in his bid for a second term.
A native of Opelousas in St. Landry Parish, Nash was a bricklayer by trade. During the American Civil War, he enlisted in 1863 as a private in the 82nd Regiment of Union Army volunteers. He was promoted to rank of sergeant major. After losing a leg while at Fort Blakely in Baldwin County near Mobile in south Alabama, Nash was honorably discharged.
In 1865, as the war wound down, Nash was appointed night inspector of customs in New Orleans. In his congressional term, he served on the Education and Labor committees. From 1882, under temporary appointment of the Chester Arthur administration, he was for less than three months the postmaster for Washington, a community in St. Landry Parish.
Nash died in New Orleans at the age of sixty-nine. He is interred there at St. Louis Cemetery III. The next African-American to represent Louisiana in the U.S. House was Democrat William J. Jefferson, who served in the 2nd congressional district from 1991 to 2009, and was imprisoned on conviction of bribery in a public corruption investigation.
- Nash, Charles Edmund. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on May 17, 2020.
- A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography uses these two sources for its article on Representative Nash: Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 (1950), and Joe Gray Taylor, Louisiana Reconstructed (1974).