Alexander Lucius Twilight receives his B.A. degree from Vermont’s Middlebury College in 1823, making him the first known Black American to graduate from college.
Alexander Lucius Twilight received his B.A. degree from Vermont's Middlebury College in 1823, making him the first known Black American to graduate from college. He then turned to educating Black Americans, teaching in New York and Vermont. In 1829, Twilight became principal of the Orleans County Grammar School in Brownington, Vermont, where he also ministered to the congregation that worshiped in the same building. Under Twilight's administration, the school's expanding enrollment led to the construction of an additional three-story building. He left the school in 1847 to educate Blacks in villages, but he returned as headmaster in 1852. During Twilight's tenure in Brownington, he also became one of the first Black Americans to be elected to a state legislature, serving in the Vermont congress from 1836 to 1837. Twilight was one of six children born to free Blacks, Mary and Ichabod Twilight, in Bradford, Vermont. He was indentured to a neighboring farmer but purchased his freedom in 1815. Mary Ladd Merrill married him in 1826. Twilight died in June 1857.