Washington, DC- Today the House of Representatives passed H.Res.1253 honoring former Congressman Joseph H. Rainey. Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC) co-sponsored H. Res.1253 with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, and Majority Whip Clyburn. This legislation will name room H-150 in the US Capitol after Joseph Rainey, the first African American Congressman and Georgetown native, to honor the 150th Anniversary of his swearing in.  

"It is a privilege to co-sponsor this bill that honors a true American patriot like Mr. Rainey. All South Carolinians can look up to Joseph Rainey as a trailblazer who fought for opportunity for all, and his legacy should be honored," said Congressman Tom Rice. 


Joseph Rainey was born into slavery in Georgetown, South Carolina in 1832. His father was a barber and used his earnings to buy freedom for himself and his family, including Joseph. Later, during the Civil War, Joseph was drafted by the Confederacy, but he escaped to Bermuda with his wife and started a business. In 1866 he returned to Georgetown, South Carolina where he became the county’s Republican Party Chairman. Just a few years later in 1870, he was elected to Congress where he served until 1879 making him the longest serving African American Member of Congress in the nineteenth century.

Read the full Resolution here.