David Rosell Sr.
David Sr was a noted support of African American rights at the time. He attended a Colored National Convention in Philadelphia in October of 1855 where he is listed as a delegate alongside Frederick Douglass. At this convention, the senior Rosell would have listened to many great activists and prominent African American figures speak about pressing matters of the time. Clearly he was a man who took a strong investement in the matters facing African Americans at the time and was personally familiar with some big names in the arena of activists.
It is likely that attending such activist meetings is how David Sr. first heard of the college in McGrawville started by abolitionists. Being the socially conscious man he was, and of course wanting a future for his son, he sent David Jr. to try getting a degree at Central College.
Dave Sr. was a noted activist and supporter of freedom for oppressed people throughout his life. This listing shows him alongside others at a meeting of the Cooper Instititue held in December of 1872 in New York City. Here he would have been apart of conversations about the status of slavery in Cuba and what steps would need to be taken to abolish it.
From, A Report on the Meetings of the Cooper Instititute. Anti-Cuban Slavery Society. December 13 1872.
Here the 1850 Census of Kings County shows David Sr. and his family (starting on row 9). He is 40 years of age at the time, while David Jr. is shown to be 13. The occupation of Sr. can be a little hard to make out, but the value of his real estate column shows he has properties valued at $3,000, compared to 2019 this is a value around $98,000.
The writing here is faint, but this 1855 census shows the Rosell family, with Jr. listed as 17 years of age (on line 35). This would have been the time that David Sr. sent his son to McGrawville to begin his endeavors in higher education.