Jesse Freeman Boulden (Lowndes County)
State House: 1870-1871
Born: October 8, 1820 in Delaware
Died: March 6, 1899
Baptist minister, editor. Active in political and church work in Chicago, Mississippi, and Washington, DC. Listed on the 1850 and 1860 census in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a clerk in 1850 and living with wife Louisa and children in 1860. Listed on the 1870 census in Columbus, Mississippi, with Louisa and children. By 1880, he and Louisa had moved to Washington, where he is mistakenly listed as "Joseph" on the census.
Boulden is often portrayed in the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science’s annual Eighth of May Emancipation Celebration, held at Sandfield Cemetery, where high school students tell the stories of notable African Americans who lived in Columbus.
“He obtained his education in the public schools of Delaware and the Quaker schools of Philadelphia, Pa… Ordained in 1854 to take charge of the Union Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pa., and there remained seven years. In 1861 he was called to the charge of a Baptist Church in Chicago, Ill., for the purpose of calling together and building up a church that had been wrecked at the death of its former pastor. Here he remained until 1864, when the Northwestern Baptist Convention was organized for the purpose of looking after the religious and educational interest of the Negro of the South. In 1865 the above-stated convention sent Dr. Boulden to Natchez, Miss., to work among his people and denomination as a missionary. He took charge of the Rose Hill Church, Natchez, and remained there till 1867, when he accepted a call of the M. U. B. Church, Columbus, Miss., where he did a fruitful work for the Master. During his pastorate at Columbus, in 1869, he organized the Mt. Olivet Association and later the General Baptist Association of Mississippi.”
(Patrick H. Thompson, The History of Negro Baptists in Mississippi, 1898)
Click here to watch Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science student Jaylin Jones perform an original emancipation day speech as Jesse Freeman Boulden in the Eighth of May Emancipation Celebration in Columbus' Sandfield Cemetery. Introduced by Jacob McGee. May 8, 2021.