Worthy brother John H. Deveaux (1848-1909)
Brother Deveaux is a #CivilWar Veteran. He served as #Clerk of the #CustomsHouse for the #PortofSavannah. He was one of the founders of the Wage Earner Bank. He assisted James M. Simms in the organizing of #PrinceHall #Masonic #GrandLodge of #Georgia. In 1875 DeVeaux, along with Louis B. Toomer, Sr. and Louis M. Pleasant founded The Colored Tribune, now known as The Savannah Tribune. Initially they were blocked by the white publishers but with the need for a publication to serve the African Americans of Savannah they pressed on and published the Tribune anyway….
Deveaux was seen as a leader of Savannah’s “Negro Aristocracy,” and his appointment as customs collector angered many whites, especially members of the cotton exchange. Deveaux quelled most of his critics through his diligent work and fair execution of his duties, and was reappointed to the post of customs collector with little controversy.
In 1896 he returned to Savannah as Assistant Collector of Customs Savannah Port and operated the Port single handed through an epidemic of #YellowFever when the entire city and Port were under quarantine. For this efficiency, he was cited by The #UnitedStatesDepartmentofCommerce and The #CoastGuard for Valor beyond the call of duty. He was elected #MWGM in 1874 and served as #MostWorshipfulGrandMaster of all #PrinceHallMasons in the Jurisdiction of Georgia for 9 years.
let us salute this brother as the paper he started still exists, being read by the city’s booming population….