George N. Carruthers
Ohioan George North Carruthers was a missionary during the American Civil War. He helped African Americans in the South to gain their freedom from slavery and to begin their lives as free people.
Carruthers was born in 1833. In 1862, he graduated from Oberlin College's School of Theology. He joined the American Missionary Association and, in May 1863, became the superintendent of an American Missionary Association school in Corinth, Mississippi. During and after the Civil War, the American Missionary Association opened schools across the South to provide newly freed African American slaves with an education. Carruthers's school, known as the Corinth Contraband Camp School, helped educate African Americans who fled to Union soldiers for protection. The Northern Army established a contraband camp at Corinth, where African Americans could live safely and prepare to live as free people. As many as six thousand African Americans lived at the Corinth camp at any one time.
Carruthers eventually resigned his position as superintendent. He joined the 51st Volunteer Infantry as a chaplain. This unit was an African American infantry unit. Most of its members were former slaves from Mississippi.
Upon the Civil War's conclusion, Carruthers returned to Ohio. He spent several years as the superintendent of the Elyria, Ohio school district. Upon retiring, he settled in Oberlin. Carruthers died in 1906.