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John William Dungy Dunjee - An African American Obituary

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John William Dungy Dunjee - An African American Obituary

Posted: 1245418414000
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Houston,Dunjee,Dungy,Tyler,Dungee
John Dunjee

John William Dunjee (also John Dungy or John Dungee) (1833 - 1903) was an American missionary, educator, Baptist minister, and founder of Baptist churches across the United States.

Early life and education

John William Dungy was born a slave in New Kent County/Charles City County, Virginia in 1833 to the Terrell family. His family asserted that President John Tyler was his father and Dungy's mother was a slave. Eventually Dungy was hired out to former Virginia governor, John Munford Gregory. While working for Gregory in the winter of 1859, Dungy started his escape to Canada through the Underground railroad with the help of William Still and others. Dungy reached Canada by 1860 and returned to the United States at the conclusion of the Civil War. From 1866 to 1868 John Dungy studied at Bates College (also known as the Maine State Seminary) in Lewiston, Maine where he lived and studied with several other former slaves. Dungy then studied at Oberlin College in Ohio where he changed his name to "Dunjee."


He next became a minister with the Baptist Home Missionary Society. He traveled throughout the country. from New England to the the South to the Midwest preaching and starting new Baptist churches for African Americans in mainly rural areas. Dunjee also played a particularly prominent role in supporting Storer College, a Freewill Baptist College for African Americans in West Virginia, as well as many other institutions such as Spelman College, Shaw College, Hampton College, and Langston University. Dunjee's friends included such well-known figures as Frederick Douglass. Additionally, Dunjee founded the Harper's Ferry Messenger. His children Drusilla Dunjee Houston, a historian, and Roscoe Dunjee later contributed to the Messenger and were editors of the Black Dispatch in Oklahoma. John Dunjee died in Oklahoma City in 1903.

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