1877 – December 1, 1928
Civil Rights Lawyer and Community Activist
William McCard, known as a fearless champion of civil rights whose ambition in life was to be a service to his people, was born in Rockford, IL. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University School of Law. He begin his law practice in Chicago, but later relocated to Baltimore and continue his law practice at 19 East Saratoga Street. This popular Republican civil rights attorney resided at 1940 Druid Hill Avenue and was one of the founding members of the April 4,1912 Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. As member of the Arch Social Club, he also served as the organization’s legal adviser. Spurned by the racist Maryland Bar Association, William McCard, like all Black attorneys of his era, was a member of the all-Black Monumental Bar Association. In 1920, he joined with several Black attorneys to purchase a four-story, 17-rooms office building at 14 East Pleasant Street. It was named the Banneker Law Building after Benjamin Banneker, the famed African American astronomer and architect. William McCard and his coalition of lawyers at the Banneker Building served as the legal shock troops for Black Baltimore and stand as the founders of today’s Monumental City Bar Association. McCard was buried in Baltimore’s Historic Mount Auburn Cemetery.
HARRY SYTHE CUMMINGS
May 19, 1866 – September 7, 1917
Baltimore’s first Black City Councilman
(Civil Rights Lawyer and Community Activist)
Harry Sythe Cummings the grandson of a slave was born free in Baltimore City on May 19, 1866. He was educated in Baltimore’s public school and graduated with honors from Lincoln University in 1886. He worked at the law office of Joseph S. David for one year, before entering Maryland Law School. In 1889 he graduated and was admitted to the Bar and begin his law practiced at 19 East Saratoga St. Cummings resided at 1234 Druid Hill Avenue and Lanvale St. right across from the Bethel AME Church. In 1890, Cummings was the first African-American member elected to the Baltimore City Council representing Ward 11. He was reelected in 1891, 1897, 1911 and 1915. In 1904 Cummings was elected as delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago where he was selected by President Theodore Roosevelt to second his nomination on behalf of the Black people. Cummings is credited with agitating for the uplift of his people and the establishment of the Colored Polytechnic, greater educational opportunities for Baltimore’s Black youth and getting more Black teachers in all colored schools.
Harry Cummings was also one of the founding member of the Arch Social. On Sunday, October 10, 1915 he introduced Arch Social Club’s annual Memorial Day Service at St. John A.M.E. Church and again on Sunday, October 8, 1916 he again open up the annual Memorial Day Service at the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church. Harry Cumming died the following year on September 7, 1917, at age 51, and was buried at the Baltimore Historic Mount Auburn Cemetery. (Read More>>>)
ROY SATOYIA BONDS
December 8, 1897- July 25, 1955
Roy S. Bond, known as the “King of Divorce Lawyers,” gained his reputation as the leading trial-winner in Baltimore and the State of Maryland. He was born in Forest Hill, Maryland and educated in Hartford Country public schools. In 1914, Bonds graduated from Howard University Law School, and set up his law practice at 14 East Pleasant Street–The Banneker Law Building. Bonds served as the Arch Social Club’s legal adviser from 1928-1939. He is credited, along with President George Bailey, both Republicans, for Arch Social Club becoming the first “private club” in the State of Maryland–the first such institution to receive a liquor license after the repeal of Prohibition. Bond resided at 1517 Druid Hill Avenue. He died at age 58. His estate was estimated at $103,000. The will, executed in January 1954, created the Roy S. and Elvira M. Bond Fund from which needy students at Howard University would be able to borrow educational funds at a low interest. Roy S. Bond was buried in the Historic Mount Auburn Cemetery.
The lawyers and clergymen pictured here fought and won the right of Black teachers to teach Black children in Baltimore’s Colored High School. After this 1910 photograph, many of these men went on to become outstanding leaders of the city’s civil rights movement. Among them were members and supporters of Arch Social Club.
Pictured in the top doorway is Rev. Harvey Johnson. To his left and right stand Attorneys U. Grant Tyler and C.C. Fitzgerald. Second row: John L.Dozier, Hugh Burkett, Warren McGwinn and H.R. White (non-lawyer). Third row: George Pendleton, William McCard, Fourth row: W. Ashbie Hawkins, Bottom row: William H. Daniels, Harry Cummings and J.W. Parker.