Charles Edmund Nash
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Preceded byDistrict created
Succeeded byEdward White Robertson
Personal details
BornMay 23, 1844
Opelousas, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedJune 21, 1913 (aged 69)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Military service
AllegianceUnited States[1]
Branch/serviceUnion Army[1]
Years of service1863–1865[1]
RankSergeant major[1]
Unit82nd Regiment, U.S. Volunteers[1]
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War[1]

Charles Edmund Nash (May 23, 1844 – June 21, 1913) was an American politician who served a single two-year term as Republican in the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana.

He was Louisiana's first African-American congressman and would remain the state's only black U.S. Representative for more than a century — until 1991, when William J. Jefferson's tenure in the 2nd Louisiana District began.[2]

Early life and education

Nash was born in Opelousas (the seat of St. Landry Parish) in southern Louisiana. He attended the common schools and was a bricklayer by trade.


During the American Civil War, he enlisted in 1863 as a private in the Eighty-second Regiment, United States Volunteers, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant major. (This regiment is listed in the U.S. Colored Troops in the Mobile Campaign Union order of battle.) Nash was severely wounded near the end of the war, at the Battle of Fort Blakely in Alabama, April 1865; he lost part of his leg.[1]

After the war Nash was a businessman and was appointed night inspector of U.S. customs.

Nash was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877). He was unsuccessful as a candidate for reelection in 1876, as "Redeemer" Democrats regained control of Louisianan politics. He served briefly as postmaster at Washington in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, during the Chester A. Arthur administration, only from February 15 to May 1, 1882.[1]

Later life and death

Nash died in New Orleans at the age of sixty-nine. He was interred there in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 3.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nash's Congressional biography, Accessed 11 April 2015.
  2. ^ Murray, Shailagh; Lengel, Allan (February 16, 2006). "The Legal Woes Of Rep. Jefferson". The Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved April 11, 2015.

Further reading

U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byDistrict created Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana's 6th congressional district 1875–1877 Succeeded byEdward White Robertson