John O. Crosby

Most Influential Person Across History

American academic

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According to Wikipedia, John Oliver Crosby was an American educator and the first President of what is now North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Early life and education John O. Crosby was born a slave in Crosbyville, Fairfield County, South Carolina on December 22, 1850 to Sylvian and her master, Thomas Crosby. His mother was from Richmond, Virginia. He was apprenticed to the carpenter's trade. In 1860, Thomas Crosby died and his estate was sold. Mary Q. Crosby purchased Crosby for $1,260. In 1864, Mary Crosby married William Stanton, and Crosby's apprenticeship ended and he moved to Shelton's Depot. Stanton was drafted into the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War in 1864, and John went along. Stanton was assigned duty as a guard of a prison for Federal soldiers in Florence, South Carolina, near Columbia. Stanton was friends with Robert Stark Means, commander of the prison, and Stanton was made suttler to the prisoners. Crosby's proximity to headquarters gave him the chance to occasionally act as drummer. Crosby was well liked, and used his privileges to occasionally help Federal prisoners escape and to give to the prisoners reports about Confederate movements.

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