Rebecca Cox Jackson
Rebecca Cox Jackson (1795–1871) was an African-American free woman, best known for her religious activism and for her autobiography.
Rebecca Cox was born on February 15, 1795 in Hornstown, Pennsylvania into a free family. She married Samuel S. Jackson and worked as a seamstress until she had a religious awakening during a thunderstorm in 1830. She got divorced after her husband failed to teach her to read and write, and later realised she was able to do both anyway. Whilst travelling from church to church, she came upon and decided to join the Shakers in Watervliet, New York. However she returned to Philadelphia to live with Rebecca Perot for six years, up until she went back to Watervliet, where she ended her life as Eldress of her own family of Shakers in Philadelphia. In 1859 she had founded the first black Shaker community in Philadelphia.
Her autobiography, although written between 1830 and 1864, was only published in 1981.
- Gifts of Power:The Writings of Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress edited with an introduction by Jean McMahom Humez. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981.
- Morgan, Barbara (2000). "Jackson, Rebecca Cox (1795–1871)". Women in World History, Volume 8: Jab-Kyt. Waterford, CT: Yorkin Publications. pp. 21–22. ISBN 0-7876-4067-0.
- Africans in America/Part 3/Rebecca Cox Jackson
- The Signifying Monkey, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr, Oxford University Press, hardcover, page 241
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