Henry Haight


This is the second part of a two-part series on the life and times of Henry H. Haight, namesake of Haight Elementary School and Haight Avenue. Part one appeared in last Thursday’s edition.
Rasheed Shabazz

On Dec. 5, 1867, newly elected Governor Henry Huntley Haight took to a stage in Sacramento to give his inaugural address. Haight spent the majority of his speech condemning Congress’ Reconstruction policy. He claimed Reconstruction was extreme and destroyed White Southerners’ liberties. 


Henry Huntly Haight was born in Rochester, New York, on May 20, 1825. He was of English and Scottish roots, with his paternal ancestors settling in 1628 in what became Massachusetts. He established the third generation of lawyers in his family. 


Alameda resident Rasheed Shabazz has launched an effort to rename a local elementary school after his research revealed that school’s namesake held racist attitudes towards Africans and Asians.

Henry Huntly Haight served as the first California governor elected after the Civil War. In his inaugural speech on Dec. 5, 1867, Gov. Haight denounced post-Civil War Reconstruction policy as discrimination against whites. He declared “Negroes” and “Asiatic races” “inferior.” He also voiced his opposition to non-white voting rights, as well as immigration from Asia.