The Andrew J. Chambers papers consist primarily of letters Chambers received that provide an account of his activities on behalf of the Richard Allen Monument, his attempt to secure congressional passage of a bill to establish a commission to study African-American life, and related efforts. Additionally, there is a scrapbook containing letters regarding the construction of the Allen Monument, pledges of support, and acceptances to attend the unveiling, 1874- 1876. There are also testimonials from several prominent African Americans, including Fredrick Douglass and Henry Highland Garnett, and a petition signed by Mifflin W. Gibbs, Garnett, Robert Brown Elliott, John Mercer Langston, William Grant Still, Henry McNeal Turner, and James T. Rapier on behalf of the Allen Monument. Also included are a drawing of the monument and a map of the park. The second part of the scrapbook contains letters in support of the Colored Commission bill from President Chester A. Arthur, congressmen and other officials, 1877-1881.
The Reverend Andrew J. Chambers was a late 19th century minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church who sought to advance the cause of African Americans. Chambers was a member of the New England Conference and was appointed by the Arkansas Conference as its agent to raise funds and generate interest for a monument to Richard Allen, the founder and first bishop of the A.M.E. Church. As general agent and corresponding secretary of the Allen Monumental Association, Chambers led a successful campaign and the monument was erected in Fairmont Park, Philadelphia in time for the centennial celebration of U.S. independence in 1876.
Between 1878-1881 Chambers lobbied congress to form a "Colored Commission" with the goal of improving the educational status of blacks in the South. He sought to change the opinions of the president and Congress with regard to education and other similar matters. Chambers was awarded the A.M.E. Church's Medal of the Henry McNeil Turner Crusaders of the 20th century in 1899.
Little is known of Chambers' activities on behalf of his own congregation(s). He appears to have had his own church in New Haven, Connecticut, but spent a great deal of time traveling on behalf of the projects assigned to him by the A.M.E. Church.