PHOTO: Bill Richmond (1763-1829). PRNewsFoto/Freeman Institute

In tandem with the nation’s commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Elizabeth Meaders – a dedicated and persistent collector of African American history – recently uncovered an amazing American history story — America’s first sports superstar. Bill Richmond. Ever heard of him?

Elizabeth has documented evidence that America’s first sports superstar was Richmond — a former slave who was born in Staten Island, NY. Later known as “The Black Terror,” Richmond became one of boxing’s most accomplished and respected fighters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Elizabeth is a retired New York City school teacher who, over a fifty year period, has amassed what is arguably America’s most comprehensive collection of well over 10,000 African America documents and artifacts held in private hands. A remarkable human-interest story.

Meaders has ten sub-collections that are equally stunning: 1). Sports 2). Military 3). Women 4). Politics 5). Slavery 6). Abolition 7). Religion 8). Arts & Entertainment 9). Education 10). Civil Rights.

Here are just a few of the thousands of documents and artifacts in her collection:

  • Joe Louis’ boxing championship belt
  • Cowboy Bill Pickett’s saddle
  • actual Buffalo Soldiers parade helmet
  • 18 KT gold relic charm of Toussaint L’Ouverture
  • 3.5 ft. bronze sculpture of Joe Louis
  • Marcus Garvey’s death mask
  • life-size wax figure of Hank Aaron
  • 1840 embroidered sampler with anti-slavery poem
  • genuine Medgar Evers funeral memorial
  • 54th Mass USCT drum beater used by drummer boy, Miles C. Moore
  • Sugar Ray Robinson trophy
  • Dave Parker’s (Reds) MVP trophy
  • actual telegram announcing Madam CJ Walker’s death
  • genuine 1855 slave runaway broadside
  • NAACP Spingarn medal issued to Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • 18 KT gold watch given by Civil War “colored troops” to their captain
  • John Brown sterling silver sculptured ring
  • and so much more…
  • Take the time to review an introductory website about Elizabeth’s collection, with a small photo gallery – (problems with browser, click here)

    Elizabeth Meaders, the owner of the collection, resides in the NY City region. Elizabeth’s desire is to entrust her historical legacy into the hands and heart of someone who really cares.

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