Henry Talbird, 1853-1863
South Carolina native Henry Talbird served as a Baptist pastor in Tuscaloosa and Montgomery before joining the faculty of Howard College. He taught theology at the college for only six months before succeeding Howard president Samuel Sterling Sherman in 1852. Talbird then presided over almost a decade of relative prosperity, although disaster struck in the form of a devastating fire that destroyed most of the physical resources of the college in 1854. Talbird’s service to Howard effectively ended in 1862, when he accepted the rank of Colonel in the 41st Alabama Infantry.