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Name:    Thomas, James
Profession:  Entrepreneur
Category:  African-American Experience, Politics and Government
Born/Started:    1827
Died/Ended:    1913
Description:    James Thomas was born in Nashville in 1827 as a slave. His father was a chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and his mother ran a laundering business. Although his mother bought JamesĀ“ freedom in 1834, according to Tennessee law he remained a slave until he petitioned the court for freedom. In 1851, his petition was granted and after gaining his freedom, he became a successful St. Louis entrepreneur. When the tornado struck St. Louis in 1896, James Thomas lost most of his property and he was underinsured. James Thomas wrote his autobiography titled, From Tennessee Slave to St. Louis Entrepreneur: The Autobiography of James Thomas.

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