Nellie Peters Black

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Mary Ellen "Nellie" Peters Black (1851—1919) was a prominent women's issues organizer and activist in Georgia.[1] Black promoted agricultural reform and increasing educational opportunities, especially for women.[2] She was an active member of the Atlanta Woman's Club as well as the Woman's Auxiliary of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.[2]


Black's father, Richard Peters, moved from Pennsylvania to Georgia to survey the railroads, as he worked as a civil engineer.[2] Her mother, Mary Jane Thompson, was involved in social clubs and outreach in Atlanta, where Nellie grew up.[1] During the Civil War, Nellie helped her mother provide aid to wounded soldiers at various local hospitals.[2]


After graduating from Brooke Hall in Pennsylvania, Nellie returned to Atlanta, where she soon convinced city officials to build drinking fountains for horses who were exhausted in the summer heat, which was one of her first examples of civic activism.[2]

In 1877, Nellie married George Robinson Black who served as a state senator and later in Congress.[1] Soon after he died of a stroke, Nellie became more active in civic reform in Atlanta.[1] Stemming from her interest in public health, Nellie helped create the King's Daughters Hospital, the first free hospital in Atlanta.[2]

Nellie served as the Vice President of the Atlanta Anti-Tuberculosis and Visiting Nurse Association, which provided free treatment to both black and white people.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Black, Nellie Peters". Georgia Women of Achievement. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Chirhart, Ann Short (2009). Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0820333360.