Joshua Dunbar's Family Tree
With the end of the war, Joshua moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he met Matilda Burton Murphy sometime after 1866. They married on December 24, 1871. Matilda gave birth to Paul, their first son, that next June. Joshua and Matilda had one other child, Elizabeth (1874-1876). Joshua attempted to work as a plasterer but racism left him unemployed for extended periods of time. He and Matilda endured a tense, abusive relationship before she left him around 1873; this relationship set a poor example for Paul’s relationship with Alice Moore. Matilda petitioned for a divorce from Joshua and received one on January 9, 1876. Paul memorialized him and other African American soldiers in “The Colored Soldiers” (1895). Joshua died of pneumonia at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Dayton on August 16, 1885 and is buried in Dayton National Cemetery.
Did You Know?
Central High School, Dayton, Ohio 1891 graduating class. Paul Laurence Dunbar is first from the left in the back row. Orville Wright is fourth from the left in the back row.