MEN OF MARK.
REV. RUFUS L. PERRY, PH. D.
Editor—Ethnologist—Essayist—Logician—Profound Student of Negro
History—Scholar in the Greek, Latin and Hebrew Languages.
THE father of Rev. Mr. Perry was named Lewis Perry
He was a preacher of the Baptist faith. His mother's
name was Maria. She, too, was an adherent of the same
faith. Both of them were the slaves of one Archibald W
Overton, Smith county, Tennessee. His father escaped to
Canada when the boy was only seven years old. He was
a very fine mechanic, carpenter and cabinet maker. He
hired his own time from his owner, and was energetic
enough to secure the means and carry the family to Nash¬
ville, Tennessee, where the boy ranked as a free child, at¬
tending the school for free Negroes, taught by Mrs. Sally
Porter. After his father ran away, this temporary free¬
dom was terminated, and the whole family were taken
back to the plantation. The schooling which young Rufus
had at this time and which he had received in Nashville,
doomed him to the contempt of his fellow-bondsmen, and
soon won for him among the white people the reputation
of a "dangerous nigger." He became so "dangerous"
that in August, 1852, he was sold to a Negro trader, to be