Mary Ann Shadd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mary Ann Shadd Cary
Mary Ann Shadd.jpg
Born Mary Ann Shadd
October 9, 1823
Wilmington, Delaware
Died June 5, 1893(1893-06-05) (aged 69)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Columbian Harmony Cemetery
Occupation Anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher, lawyer
Language English
Nationality American
Ethnicity African-American. Native American, German-American
Alma mater Howard University (School of Law)
Spouse(s) Thomas F. Cary (m. 1856)
Children Sarah Elizabeth Cary; Linton Shadd Cary

Mary Ann Shadd Cary (October 9, 1823 – June 5, 1893) was an American-Canadian anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher and lawyer. She was the first black woman publisher in North America and the first woman publisher in Canada.[1]

Shadd Cary was an abolitionist who became the first female African American newspaper editor in North America when she edited the Provincial Freeman in 1853.[2][3]

Early Life[edit]

Mary Ann Shadd was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the eldest of thirteen children of Abraham Doras Shadd (1801-82) and Harriet Burton Parnell. Abraham D. Shadd was a grandson of Hans Schad, alias John Shadd, a native of Hesse-Cassel who had entered the United States serving as a Hessian soldier with the British Army during the French and Indian War. The story goes that Hans Schad was wounded and left in the care of two African-American women, mother and daughter, both named Elizabeth Jackson. The Hessian soldier and the daughter were married in January of 1756 and their first son was born six months later. [4]

A.D. Shadd was a son of Jeremiah Shadd, John's younger son, who was a Wilmington butcher. Abraham Shadd was trained as a shoemaker and had a shop in Wilmington and later in the nearby town of West Chester, Pennsylvania. In both places he was active as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and in other civil rights activities, being an active member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, and, in 1833, named President of the National Convention for the Improvement of Free People of Colour. [5] Three years after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, A. D. Shadd moved his family to Canada, settling in North Buxton, Ontario. In 1858, he became the first black man to be elected to political office in Canada, when he was elected to the position of Counselor of Raleigh Township, Ontario.

In 1840, after being away at school, Mary Ann returned to West Chester and established a school for black children. She also later taught in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and New York City.

Social activism[edit]

When the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 in the United States threatened to return free northern blacks and escaped slaves into bondage, Shadd and her brother Isaac moved to Canada and settled in Windsor, Ontario, across the border from Detroit. In Windsor, she founded a racially integrated school with the support of the American Missionary Association.

Civil War and postbellum activism[edit]

Mary Ann Shadd Cary House in Washington, D.C.

After her husband died in 1860, Shadd Cary and her children returned to the United States. During the Civil War, at the behest of the abolitionist Martin Delany,[6] she served as a recruiting officer to enlist black volunteers for the Union Army in the state of Indiana. After the Civil War, she taught in black schools in Wilmington, before moving to Washington, D.C., where she taught in public schools and attended Howard University School of Law. She graduated as a lawyer at the age of 60 in 1883, becoming only the second black woman in the United States to earn a law degree. She wrote for the newspapers National Era and The People's Advocate.

Shadd Cary joined the National Woman Suffrage Association, working alongside Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton for women's suffrage, testifying before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives.

She died in Washington, D.C., on June 5, 1893. She was interred at Columbian Harmony Cemetery.[7]

Legacy[edit]

Mary Ann Shadd Cary's former residence in the U Street Corridor was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. In 1987 she was designated a Women's History Month Honoree by the National Women's History Project.[8] She was also honoured by Canada, being designated a Person of National Historic Significance.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Provincial Freeman", Archives of Ontario
  2. ^ "Mary Ann Shadd Cary". A&E Networks Television. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ Hill, Daniel G (Spring/Summer 1982). "The Black press". Polyphony: The Bulletin of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario 1: 43. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  4. ^ http://mchhistory.blogspot.com/2010/07/abraham-doras-shadd.html
  5. ^ Gail Ito, "Shadd, Abraham Doras (1801-1882)," http://www.blackpast.org/gah/shadd-abraham-doras-1801-1882
  6. ^ a b Adrienne Shadd, "Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Abolitionist", Library and Archives Canada
  7. ^ Savage, Beth L. and Shull, Carol D. African American Historic Places. Washington, D.C.: Preservation Press, 1994, p. 136.
  8. ^ "Honorees: 2010 National Women’s History Month". Women's History Month. National Women's History Project. 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Beardon, Jim and Butler, Linda Jean, Shadd: The Life and Times of Mary Shadd Cary. Toronto: NC Press Ltd, 1977.
  • Rhodes, Jane, Mary Ann Shadd Cary: the Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

External links[edit]