Charles Young Portrait   Save
Curatorial Collections
Description: This 4.7 by 6.8-inch (11.94 by 17.27 cm) painting depicts Charles Young, a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Young (1864-1922), a Kentucky native raised in Ohio, graduated from Ripley Colored High School in 1880. He won appointment to West Point in 1884 and in 1889 became the third African American graduate from the school. Young taught military science at Wilberforce University and later served in the Spanish American War as the major in command of the 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.). He had an exceptional military career, highlighted by his appointments to serve as military attache to Haiti and Liberia. He commanded troops in the "Punitive Expedition" in Mexico, and during the "Filipino Insurrection." He was also superintendent of Sequoia and General Grant national parks. At the outset of World War I, Young was the highest-ranking African American in the army. Rather than promote him, and place in a position of authority over white soldiers, the army involuntarily retired Young from active duty, ostensibly because of ill health. To prove his fitness for duty, he rode horseback from his home in Wilberforce, Ohio, to Washington, D.C. The army, nevertheless, did not promote him to colonel until after he retired from service. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om873_806518_004
Subjects: Arts and Entertainment; African American Ohioans; Military Ohio; Spanish American War; 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.); African American Soldiers
Places: Wilberforce (Ohio); Greene County (Ohio); West Point (New York)