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Allegany County
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Two black policemen

Two Black Policemen in Cumberland, 1898 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Two Black Policemen

Newspaper records indicate that the City of Cumberland's Police Department did indeed have black police officers. In July 1899, the Cumberland Police Department was comprised of fifteen men. Just one year earlier, on June 27, 1898 the Cumberland newspaper reported that a black policeman by the name of Edwards made his first arrest, that being of a man who fired a gun from the Valley Street Bridge. On June 3, 1902, the newspaper reported that among the fifteen men appointed to the Police Department was a black officer named, Thomas G. Washington.

Excerpt from, Cumberland, Maryland through The Eyes of Herman J. Miller

Note: On February 6, 2008 an email was received from Lynda Edwards Tilley, a native of Frostburg who now teaches English in Howard County, Maryland. She notes that it was her great-grandfather, Richard N. Edwards, who was indeed the City of Cumberland's first black police officer.


Photograph: This circa 1910 postcard is from the collection of Albert and Angela Feldstein. It depicts Cumberland's City Hall Plaza. On the far right is the Bell Tower Building. Erected in 1885 it served as the police station and city jail until 1936. Note the bars on the windows. On the left is the former U.S. Post Office while the old Central Fire Station is depicted in the middle.

Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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