Summary of Content: This act established the Mississippi River Improvement Commission. Which is for the correction, permanent location, and deepening of the channel and the improvement of navigation of the Mississippi River and the protection of its alluvial lands.
Background: Blanche Kelso Bruce was born into slavery near Farmville, Prince Edward County, Va. on March 1 1841. He was tutored by his master’s son, but left his master at the beginning of the civil war and taught school in Hannibal Mo. After the civil war Bruce became a planter in Mississippi, and a member of the Mississippi Levee Board, and Sheriff and Tax Collector for Bolivar County from 1872-1875. Bruce was then elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, where he served from March 4 1875 - March 3 1881. Bruce was the first African American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. In 1881 Bruce was appointed by President James Garfield as the Register of the Treasury. Bruce then went on to serve as the Recorder of Deeds for the District of Colombia from 1891-1893, returning to the office of Register of the Treasury from 1897 until his death on March 17, 1898.