Friday, January 16, 2009

Charlotte Bellinger's Brother, Charles

Charles Bellinger, was born in Caldwell County, Texas, on April 15, 1875. He was the younger brother of Charlotte Bellinger. His sister, Charlotte Bellinger, married John Childs and was the mother of Cornelia Childs Washington, my great grandmother.

Charles Bellinger became active in San Antonio Texas city politics during 1918 when he joined African American ministers to organize black voters for several successful candidates for mayor and other local offices.

The Bellinger House (taken July 28, 1928) San Antonio Texas
Bellinger's house in San Antonio Texas circa 1928

These city leaders responded with water and sewers, street paving and lighting, a library and auditorium, and better schools and playgrounds in African American neighborhoods.

Charles BellingerCharles Bellinger

In the 1930s, he was charged with income tax evasion, afterwhich he was sent to Levensworth Federal Prison in Kansas. A attorney, C.K. Quin (who was purportedly was also a Klu Klux Klan member, when he wasn't acting as Mayor of San Antonio), sought a presidential pardon for him.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt granted Bellinger a parole because of illness, and pleas from San Antonio leaders and his family.

Franklin D RooseveltFranklin D Roosevelt

The Pardon papers cited Charles Bellinger's rallying of black voters on behalf of Democratics, and such black voters voting for the Dems in any significant numbers for the first time since reconstruction as a reason to grant the pardon.

Charles Bellinger died June 14, 1937.

Additional References
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," (accessed January 16, 2009).

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," (accessed January 16, 2009).