Thomas Van Renssalaer Gibbs (b.1885)

The son of African American Florida politician Rev. Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs II, Thomas Van Renssalaer Gibbs was born in 1855.  Like his father, Thomas was also a politician, and served as a member of the Florida State House of Representatives, and as a member of the 1886 Florida Constitutional Convention.  Rep. Thomas Gibbs was a co-founder of Florida A&M College, a historical black university located in Tallahassee, Florida, and he served as its Vice President until his death in 1898. Thomas married Alice Menard, the daughter of John Willis Menard, a Louisiana French-Creole who became the first person of African descent elected to the U.S. Congress in 1868.

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