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Mifflin Wistar Gibbs (17 April 182311 July 1915) was an African-American abolitionist and judge. Gibbs was the eldest brother of fours siblings, including Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs, and was prominent in Reconstruction Arkansas. Mifflin was born in Philadelphia, and died at his home in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Gibbs is well known for his role in the migration of African Americans from California to Vancouver Island, starting in 1858. He was involved in business and politics during his ten year stay in Canada, including a stint on Victoria City Council in Victoria, British Columbia. On his return to the U.S., he became involved in the legal profession in Little Rock and held a number of judicial and government positions.

In 1897, he became the American consul to Madagascar. He returned to the United States in 1901 and became president of a bank located in Little Rock that was mainly an African American business.

In 1902, he purchased the property at 902 T Street, NW in Washington DC for his daughter Mrs. Harriet Gibbs Marshall, who ran the Washington Conservatory of Music there, as one of the most successful women owned businesses in the Nation at the turn of the century following in the footsteps of her father.

External links


  • Gibbs, Mifflin Wistar. Shadow and Light: An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1995.
  • McGinty, Doris E. "The Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression," Black perspectives in music, vol 7, no. 1, spring 1979.


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