Don Scott, Sr., a 1977 graduate of Cheyney University, is a professor, history researcher, and writer who resides in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania. Cheltenham is known for being the location of the first federal institution, or more specifically, a Civil War training camp for northern-based black soldiers. This training camp, Camp William Penn was responsible for training nearly 11,000 African-American soldiers during the war. This would be the largest amount of black soldiers to receive military training anywhere in the north during the war.
Scott has written two books about Camp William Penn and has written hundreds of articles for America’s Civil War magazine. He has also had his articles featured in publications that include The Journal-Register Newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Philadelphia Tribune. In addition, his articles have also been published and featured on the internet on sites such as Afrigeneas.com, the Pennsylvania 150.com website, the Charles L. Blockson Afro American Collection website, and many other online and print publications. He has had his lectures televised statewide and he delivers live black-history segments on WURD 900AM, Philadelphia’s African-American-oriented talk radio station.
A professor of English and mass communication at the Community College of Philadelphia, Scott has also contributed five stories to the African American National Biography, co-edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Higginbotham, as well as The Encyclopedia of Jim Crow, co-edited by Nikki Brown and Barry Stentiford. Most recently, he has contributed a chapter about Camp William Penn to the new book, The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience, edited by Samuel Black, director of African American programs and curator at the Senator John Heinz Museum.
His latest book discusses the establishment of President Abraham Lincoln’s United States Colored Troops (USCT) and the facility where the largest amount of black Civil-War soldiers were trained. It is titled “Camp William Penn: 1863-1865 – America’s First Federal African American Soldiers’ Fight for Freedom.”
In this book Mr. Scott describes the descent of tourists upon the locale. Don Scott recounts from an 1863 newspaper article that both black and white ladies and gentlemen of the era would leave Philadelphia by carriage, hack or other means of transport to visit the camp and witness the soldiers drilling, training, and hoisting the flag. Scott does remind us however, of course, that the visitors to the camp using public means of transport would still have been strictly segregated.
For more information on how to publish this book, access Don Scott’s author page.