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 Jonathan Myrick Daniels

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Jonathan Myrick Daniels

  • Birth 20 Mar 1939 Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Death 20 Aug 1965 Fort Deposit, Lowndes County, Alabama, USA
  • Burial Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Memorial ID 12600289

Social Reformer. A 1961 alumnus of the Virginia Military Institute (where he graduated as Valedictorian of his class), he entered Harvard University later that to study English Literature. However, he left Harvard when he was accepted into the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1963 he began his studies to graduate in 1966. In early 1965, Martin Luther King was asking that students and clergy come to Selma, Alabama to participate in a march to the state capital in Montgomery. Daniels and several other seminary students left for Alabama when they heard King's call. He and a friend of his after seeing how bad things where, decided to spend the next semester and following summer in Alabama, helping out any way they could. They tutored children, helped poor locals apply for government aid, and worked to register voters. During this time Daniels and his friend lived with Black families. On August 13, 1965, Daniels decided to go with a group of people to picket whites-only stores in the small town of Fort Deposit, Alabama. The next day, Daniels and the protestors were arrested and taken to jail in the nearby town of Hayneville, where they were held for six days because they refused to pay bail. Then on August 20, they were released for no apparent reason or any means of transport back to Fort Deposit. Daniels and a few others went down the street to a store that would serve nonwhites to get a cold soft drink. They were met at the door by Tom Coleman, an unemployed highway construction worker, who was holding a shotgun. Coleman threatened the group and then aimed the gun at 16 year old Ruby Sales, Daniels instantly pushed Sales out of the way and was hit with a full load of buck shot in the right chest, killing him instantly. Coleman was acquitted by a jury of twelve white men, on the grounds of "self-defense". Today Daniels is honored by being one of 15 Modern Day Martyrs of the Episcopal Church. V.M.I.'s Jonathan Daniels Humantarian Award is named in honor of him as well as the Daniels Archway at V.M.I.. Author Charles Eagles published a work about him called “Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama” in 2000.

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Jon
  • Added: 3 Dec 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12600289
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jonathan Myrick Daniels (20 Mar 1939–20 Aug 1965), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12600289, citing Monadnock View Cemetery, Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .