J. THOMAS HEWIN
born in Dinwiddie County, Va., December 24, 1871. His parents were slaves. He was left an orphan at the age of thirteen, with no knowledge even of the alphabet. At the age of seventeen he was seized with a desire for an education. Finding no opportunity for mental improvement, he went to Richmond, Va., in 1889, where he found employment in a stone quarry. He took his books with him and studied at meal-time. In the fall he became janitor of a business college. Finding that he could do his janitor work mornings and evenings, he entered the public school of Richmond and afterward graduated from the Richmond Normal School as valedictorian of his class.
So thrifty was Mr. Hewin, that when he graduated from school, he had a bank account of $1,375 to his credit.
He also graduated from the Boston University Law School, and after returning to his native state was admitted to the bar. He was especially helpful to the unfortunate of his race.
He organized in Richmond the Anti-Deadly Weapon League among the young colored men of the place, for which he received the commendation of the press and people. He is a member of the Baptist Church, an ardent worker among his people, a power as an organizer and an orator of the Frederick Douglass type.