Mathilda Beasley

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Mathilda Taylor Beasley was the first African American nun to serve in the state of Georgia. She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 14, 1832.[1] Beasley educated slaves in her home in Savannah, Georgia before the Civil War although this was illegal at the time. [2] She was baptized as a Catholic in 1869, possibly in preparation for her marriage to Abraham Beasley, a wealthy free black restaurant owner in Savannah, who died in 1877. Later in life, after becoming a Franciscan nun in England, Beasley returned to the United States and founded a group of African-American sisters in Georgia, called the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. [3] Beasley attempted to affiliate her group with the Franciscan Order but was ultimately unsuccessful.[4] She also started one of the first orphanages in the United States for African-American girls. [5] She died on December 20, 1903.[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • "Mathilda Beasley and the Catholic Church". Georgia Historical Society. Retrieved November 27, 2018.


  1. ^ a b "Honorees: Mathilda Taylor Beasley". Georgia Women of Achievement. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
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  4. ^ Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. First Indiana University Press Edition. 1994. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0-253-32774-1.
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