In 1842, at the age of 16, Alexander Clark moved to what is now Muscatine, Iowa. His skill set, including being a barber, put him in a position to be in daily contact with the most powerful men in the community. Clark was born a free man and therefore was able to own property. He was able to purchase his first home at the age of 22. In this clip from the Lost in History: Alexander Clark documentary, historian Dr. Paul Finkelman describes Alexander Clark’s beginnings as a barber and businessman.
Check out the entire Alexander Clark and an African-American’s Fight for Civil Rights Collection.