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After his parent's death, Virginia law inhibited John Mercer Langston and the other children of Ralph Quarles and Lucy Langston from inheriting his father's estate. A friend, William Gooch, helped John and his brothers relocate in Ohio. As a young…

John Mercer Langston was born on December 14, 1829 to a freed slave, Lucy Langston, and a white man of “extreme old age," Ralph Quarles. At the time of Langston's birth, Virginia law specified that all children would be born into a “free or bond…