Chronology of Islam in USA ( 1800-1899 )
1807: United States Congress prohibits the importation of slaves into America after Jan. 1, 1808. Yarrow Mamout, an African Muslim slave, is set free in Washington, D.C., and later becomes one of the first shareholders of the second chartered bank in America, the Columbia bank. Yarrow may have lived to be more than 128 years old, the oldest person in American history. Two portraits of Yarrow done by well known artists are on public display. The first, painted by Charles W. Peale in 1819 was done when Yarrow was 100 years old. It hangs in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. A second portrait completed by James Simpson in 1828, almost a decade later, can be seen in the Peabody Room at the Georgetown Public Library, Washington D.C.
1809: A Muslim by the name of Omar ibn Said is enslaved in Charleston, South Carolina, and imprisoned after running away. Later in prison he was visited by John Owen, who became later a Governor of North Carolina, and taken to Bladen County to be placed on the Owen plantation and it is reported that he lived to be 100 years old.
1828 Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori, a former prince from West Africa and now a slave on a Georgia plantation, is freed by the order of Secretary of State Henry Clay and President John Quincy Adams. He was known to many during his lifetime as "The Prince of the Slaves." A drawing of him, done by Henry Inman, is displayed in the Library of Congress. His life has also been well-documented.
1839: Sayyid Sa'id, ruler of Oman orders his ship The Sultana to set sail to America on a trade mission, reaching New York, April 30, 1840. And although the voyage was not a commercial success, it marks the point of Muslims successful friendly relations with America, which still continues to exist between many of the Islamic nations and the United States of today.
1856: The United States cavalry hire a Muslim by the name of Hajji Ali to experiment with raising camels in Arizona.
1865: The American Civil War ends. During the war, the "scorched earth" policy of the North destroyed churches, farms, schools, libraries, colleges, and a great deal of other property. The librarians at the University of Alabama managed to save one book from the debris of their library buildings. On the morning of April 4, when Federal troops reached the campus with orders to destroy the university, Andre Deloffre, a modern language professor and custodian of the library, appealed to the commanding officer to spare one of the finest libraries in the South. The officer, being sympathetic, sent a courier to Gen. Croxton at his headquarters in Tuscaloosa asking permission to save the Rotunda. The general's reply was no. The officer reportedly said, "I will save one volume as a memento of this occasion.” The volume selected was a rare copy of the Qur'an.
1870: The Reverend Norman, a Methodist missionary, converts to Islam.
1889: A noted scholar and social activist by the name of Edward W. Blyden travels throughout the Eastern and Southern parts of the United States lecturing about Islam and in one of his speeches before the Colonization Society of Chicago he told his audience that the reasons Africans choose Islam over Christianity is that, the Qur'an protected the black man from self-depreciation in the presence of Arabs or Europeans.
1893: The American Islamic Propaganda Movement is founded by Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb. He is regarded as one of the earliest white American converts. In that same year on Sept. 20 and 21, M. A. Webb appeared at the First World Congress of Religions and delivered two lectures: "The Spirit of Islam," and "The Influence of Islam on Social Conditions."