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Tuesday, March 2nd. The capital of the vanquished Confederacy was the site of the first chartered black-owned bank in the nation.

Known as the Savings Bank of the Grand Fountain, United Order of True Reformers, it was founded on this date in 1888 by former slave and Union Army veteran William Washington Browne. Opened in 1889, its deposits on the first day totaled $1,269.

The bank provided mortgage loans and other banking services that were difficult for African-Americans to obtain in the segregated, repressive climate after Reconstruction. When the bank opened, Richmond had a population of just over 81,000 people, 32,000 of them African-American.

Today, Richmond is home to some 230,000 people, nearly half of them African-Americans.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at

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Joseph Nathan Kane, Kane’s Famous First Facts, Fifth Edition, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, NY 1997, #842

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