Reverend Mahlon van Horne (1840-1910) was a leader in Newport's African American community. A former school teacher, Van Horne became pastor of Newport's Union Congregational Church in 1869. He served in this post for 28 years.
Van Horne was the first African American to serve on the Newport School Committee and in the Rhode Island legislature. In 1896, President William McKinley appointed him U.S. Consul to St. Thomas in the West Indies. He later became a missionary in Antigua. He died in the West Indies in 1910.