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. Beasley educated slaves in her home in Savannah, Georgia before the Civil War although this was illegal at the time.  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.  Beasley attempted to affiliate her group with the Franciscan Order but was ultimately unsuccessful. She also started one of the first orphanages in the United States for African-American girls.  She died on December 20, 1903.
- "Mathilda Beasley and the Catholic Church". Georgia Historical Society. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- "Honorees: Mathilda Taylor Beasley". Georgia Women of Achievement. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- 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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