Thomas Junius Calloway

Estimated read time 3 min read

Thomas Junius Calloway (or T.J. as he was called) was a Black man of considerable drive and dedication to the cause of Black progress and development. Prior to his involvement with the Lincoln community, Calloway had established himself as an activist promoting the progress of Black people on national level.

Calloway was born on August 12, 1866 in Cleveland, Tennessee, to George and Elizabeth (Grant) Calloway. He attended Fisk University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1889. In 1892, he married Lettie Louis Nolen, also a Fisk graduate. From 1894 to 1897, he served as president of Alcorn College in Alcorn, Mississippi. From 1897 to 1899, Calloway was appointed U.S. Special Commissioner to the Paris Exposition, responsible for organizing a photographic exhibit of Black industrial education in the United States.

In 1901, he enrolled in the Howard University Law School receiving an L.L.B. degree in 1904. In 1906, as a member of the Negro Development Company, he served as manager of the Negro Department at the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition. Additionally, as a personal friend of Booker T. Washington, Calloway functioned as a “northern agent” for Tuskegee Institute.

An educator, real estate developer and practicing attorney, Thomas Junius Calloway was continuously involve in organizations and activities of a political nature around the Washington Metropolitan area. He maintained an office at 494 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.

Prior to purchasing their lot in Lincoln,  Calloway and his wife Nettie and two daughters lived in a house at 1732 V. Street, N.W. In 1910, Calloway purchased his lot in Lincoln for $100. His house was constructed and completed in 1912, being assessed at $800.

It is T.J. Callloway, whom long-time residents most remember as the force behind the development of the community. One resident referred to Calloway a being, “the kind of man who gave assistance to those who needed it, and knew how to get things done.”

In 1924, Calloway, in concert wth 20 other Black men and women from Maryland, was appointed to serve on the Maryland Inter-racial Commission. In response to petitions from the Maryland Black community, the General Assembly of 1924 passed Joint Resolution No. 8 directing Governor Albert Ritchie to appoint the Commission. Its main objective would be to make recommendations to the legislature on matters concerning the social, economic and educational welfare of Black residents in and around the state.

Serving as secretary to the Commission, Calloway was responsible for organizing the work of the Commission and engaged in a “limited amount of  travel and observation” throughout the state. He was a member of the Commission from inception until his death on February 21, 1930.


1. Lincoln Land and Improvement Company, “Lincoln, Maryland, A Suburb of Greater Washington, D.C.”,     Washington, D.C., 1910, Library of Congress

2. Louis Harland, “The Booker T. Washington Papers, Vol. 3″, Illinois, p. 1773.

4. Bianca Floyd’s Interview with Mr. Anthony Herbert at Lincoln, Maryland, March 19834.

5. Report with recommendations of the Maryland Inter-Racial Commission, General Assembly of Maryland, 1927

5. Washington Post, May 20, 1930, Library of Congress, Newspaper Reading Room, Washington, D.C. microfilm

6. Thomas Junius Calloway, “Lincoln,” The Crisis, March 1915, p. 240-242