Mary Weston Fordham

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Mary Weston Fordham (1844–1905) was an African American writer and teacher. She is known for writing a collection of 66 poems, entitled Magnolia Leaves,[1] which offers a presentation of African-American families following the American Civil War. The introduction to the book is written by Booker T. Washington,[1] in which he reflects on his concerns for African-American families.

Personal background[edit]

Mary Weston Fordham was born in 1844 in Charleston, South Carolina.[1] Her parents and extended family were skilled and land owners. She was a poet and an educator. She ran a school for African-American children during the Civil War. After the war, she worked as a teacher for the American Missionary Association.[2]

Published works[edit]

  • Fordham, Mary Weston (1897). Magnolia Leaves, Charleston: Walker, Evans & Cogswell Co.


  1. ^ a b c "Biographies". Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^ "Mary Weston Fordham". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gardner, Eric; Henry Louis Gates Jr.; and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (eds). "Mary Weston Fordham", African American National Biography, Oxford African American Studies Center
  • Goven, Sandra Y.; and Jessie Carney Smith, editor (1996). "Mary Weston Fordham", Notable Black American Women