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    THE WORK OF THE AFRO-AMERICAN WOMAN   Table of Contents     A SKETCH OF AFRO-AMERICAN LITERATURE

Mossell, N.F.
The Work of Afro-American Women

- THE WORK OF THE AFRO-AMERICAN WOMAN
- IN JOURNALISM.


IN JOURNALISM.

The sex and race have reached high-water marks through the editorship of "Free Speech," by Ida B. Wells; "Ringwood's Magazine," Mrs. Julia Costen; "St. Matthew's Lyceum Journal," Mrs. M. E. Lambert; "Virginia Lancet," Lucindia Bragg; "The Boston Courant" and "Woman's Era," Mrs. Josephine Ruffin; "The Musical Messenger," Miss Tillman; and "Woman's Light and Love," a journal of Home and Foreign

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Missions, published at Harrisburg, Pa., by Mrs. Lida Lowry and Mrs. Emma Ransom.

Victoria Earle of Waverly's Magazine, Lillian A. Lewis of the Boston Herald, Florence A. Lewis having charge of editorial departments of Golden Days and the Philadelphia Press, show unerringly the value of our women's work in this line of effort. Miss Frazelia Campbell's translations from the German give her high rank in this field of work.

Mrs. Mary E. Lee, wife of Bishop B. F. Lee, Miss Mary Britton, Mrs. Layton, of Los Angeles, Mrs. Alice Felts, wife of Rev. Cethe Felts, Anna E. Geary, Elizabeth Frazier, Frances Parker, M. E. Buckner, Mattie F. Roberts, Ada Newton Harris, Bella Dorce, H. A. Rice, Josephine Turpin, Washington, Katie D. Yankton, Lucy Wilmot Smith, Cordelia Ray, Lucinda Bragg, Fannie C. Bently, Mrs. Fannie Barrier Williams, Kate Tillman, Mrs. Silone Yates, Florida Ridley, Medora Gould, Miss Dora J. Cole, Irene DeMortie, Maria Ridley, M. Elizabeth Johnson, Leslie Wilmot, Alice Ruth Moore, Mrs. Susie Shorter, Mrs. Mollie Church Terril, Miss Virginia Whitsett, Dr. Alice Woodby McKane, Dr. Lucy Hughes Brown, Maritcha Lyons, Mrs. Majors, Mrs. Scruggs, and Mrs. I. Garland Penn, have done good work in the past, and in many cases are still doing such work in literary lines as must reflect high honor on their race and sex.

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The profession of medicine has proven more attractive, and more lucrative also, to Afro-American women than either of the other liberal professions. We have some dozen graduates of the finest institutions in the country; among the earliest is Dr. Susan McKinney, a graduate of the Women's Medical College of N. Y.; having been a student under Dr. Clement Lozier is largely to the advantage of Dr. McKinney. As a member of the Medical Staff of the Women's Dispensary and of the City Society of Hom[oelig ]pathy the Doctor is doing efficient work; this combined with a large and rapidly growing practice makes her labors along race efforts especially worthy of commendation. Dr. R. J. Cole and Dr. Caroline V. Anderson were the pioneers from the Phila. Women's Medical College; Dr. Cole is also an excellent German scholar. Dr. Anderson, although not an author in her own right, yet gave valuable assistance to her father, Wm. Still, Esq., in the preparation of his famous work "The Underground Railroad." Dr. Anderson conducts a Dispensary in connection with the mission work of the Berean Presbyterian Church, South College Ave., Phila., of which her husband, the Rev. Matthew Anderson, is pastor. The doctor has secured through the kindness of wealthy friends an additional aid to the work of this mission by the gift of a cottage at Mt. Pleasant to be used as a retreat for invalids. Dr. Verina Morton is practising in

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partnership with her husband, an eminent physician of Brooklyn, N. Y. Dr. Alice Woodby McKane was resident physician at the Haynes Normal and Industrial School until her marriage with Dr. McKane. She has lately organized a Nurses' Training School at Savannah, Ga. Dr. Hallie Tanner Johnson, the eldest daughter of Bishop B. T. Tanner of the A. M. E. Church, is resident physician at Tuskegee University, Ala. This lady had the honor of being the first woman of any race to practise medicine in the State of Alabama. She has since entering upon her work at Tuskegee established a Nurses' Training School and Dispensary at that institution. The Doctor has lately become the wife of Prof. John Quincy Johnson, President of Allen University. Dr. Alice Bennett, of the Women's Medical College, is pleasantly located in the East. Dr. Consuelo Clark, a graduate of the Cincinnati Medical College, is an eminently successful practitioner. Dr. Georgiana Rumbly, decreased, was a recent graduate of Howard University. Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn., has two female graduates, Dr. Georgia L. Patton of the class of 93, now an independent Medical Missionary at Monrovia, Liberia, and Dr. Lucinda D. Key, class of 94, a successful practitioner at Chattanooga, Tenn. Dr. Lucy Hughes Brown, the latest graduate we have to record in this honorable profession, is now an alumnus of the Women's Medical College, Philadelphia,
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Dr. Brown has entered upon an excellent practice at Wilmington, N. C. Miss L. C. Fleming, who has labored very efficiently as a missionary in South Africa, has entered upon her medical course at the above institution. We have in the profession of pharmacy, three graduates of Meharry Medical College, these ladies having taken their degrees at this year's Commencement, Miss Matilda Lloyd, of Nashville, Tenn., Miss Margaret A. Miller, of S. C., and, Miss Bella B. Coleman, who has entered a drug store at Natchez, Miss.

Dr. Ida Gray, our only known graduate in dentistry, hails from the University at Mich., receiving her degree in 1890. Dr.Gray at once entered upon her work and has found herself highly appreciated. The Doctor has a charming personality.

We have as trained nurses Mrs. Minnie Hogan, of the Nurses' Training School of the University of Pa., Miss Annie Reeve and Mrs. Nicholson of the Women's Medical College, Mrs. Georgian Rumbly, lately deceased, took a Nurse's course at Howard University and practised this profession prior to entering upon a Medical course.

We have in the profession of law three graduates, Mrs. Mary Shadd Cary, of Washington, D. C., Miss Florence Ray, of N.Y., and Miss Ida Platt, of Chicago. The first named is also an eloquent lecturer the second an author of merit. Miss Ida B. Platt, of Chicago,

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has the honor of being the only representative of the race now practising at the bar. Miss Platt is a native of Chicago, a graduate of the High School of that city, at the early age of sixteen she had finished the course taking first rank among the students of that institution. At a later date this studious young lady entered an insurance office acting in the capacity of stenographer and private secretary where the correspondence required proficiency in the German and French languages. In 1892 she entered a prominent law office as stenographer and at a later date she established an independent office of law reporting and stenography, (Germans as it must be said to their credit in this as in most similar cases giving the largest percentage of patronage received from the dominant race). Two years ago Miss Platt entered the Chicago Law School from which she has recently graduated with the exceedingly creditable average of 96. This lady deserves unstinted praise for her courage and perseverance. Busy at her usual work during the day she had only the evening hours in which to pursue her chosen profession and yet ranked among the best students of her class.

No woman of the race has completed a theological course so far as we can learn, but large numbers inspired with zeal for the Master's kingdom have gone forth to evangelistic and mission work. Amanda Smith, now

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laboring in Canada, spent many months with Bishop Taylor in the opening up of his mission work in Africa.

Perhaps it might be said we have done the least in the line of State work and yet we believe, that according to the opportunities accorded us we have done our share. In time of war, in famine, in time of fire or flood, and especially during the horrors of pestilence the women of this race have done noble work often calling forth public praise; as was the case at Memphis, a few years ago, when the mayor of that city complemented the women of the race for the kindness to the sufferers in the awful epidemic that had recently visited that district.

In the East and West, on the School and local option question they have given able support, in local and ward charity they have always done their share of the work in hand. Miss Amelia Mills, of Philadelphia, has been for years a most efficient worker especially along the line of the Country Week Association.

During the World's Fair we had five experienced refined and cultivated women upon the World's Fair State Committees, Miss Imogene Howard, of N. Y., Mrs. Fannie Barrier Williams, of Chicago, who read a most able paper before the World's Parliament of Religions, Miss Florence A. Lewis, of Philadelphia, who was also World's Fair correspondent for the Philadelphia

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Times. Mrs. S. A. Williams, of New Orleans and Mrs. M. A. Curtis, of Chicago.

Along the line of Art we have one noble representative: the work of Edmonia Lewis, the sculptress, is so well known that it scarce needs repetition; her "Cleopatra Dying," exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition, received a medal of honor. Most of her works have been sold to titled persons of Europe. Elizabeth Greenfield Selika, Flora Batson Bergen, Madame Sisseretta Jones, Madame Saville Jones, Madame Nellie Brown Mitchell, Madame Dessiro Plato, Mrs. Lizzie Pugh Dugan, and Miss Agnes Tucker rank as the Pattis and Nilssons of the race. In many cases not only delighting the millions of the common people, but receiving marked tokens of appreciation from the crowned heads of the European nations, Hallie Quinn Brown, Ednorah Nahr, Henrietta Vinton Davis, Alice Franklin, now Mrs. T. McCants Stewart, Mary Harper, Matilda Herbert and Emma White take rank among the finest elocutionists of the United States. As accomplished planists we have Madame Montgomery, Madame Williams, Mrs. Ida Gilbert Chestnut, Miss Inez Casey and Mrs. Cora Tucker Scott. The women of this race have always been industrious, however much the traducers of the race may attempt to make it appear otherwise. They are proving daily the truth of this assertion.

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The following word of praise from a recent writer, in the "Boston Transcript," voices this self evident truth as set forth in the present condition of the most humble of our women, laboring in the Southland. This writer in the closing lines of an exceptionally truthful article entitled, "The Southern Plantation of To day," gives this tribute to the Afro-American woman of this section of our fair land. "Too much credit cannot be given these hard-working wives and mothers, who hoe, rake, cook, wash, chop, patch and mend, from morning until night; very often garments will be patched until scarcely a trace of the original foundation material can be seen, and there are many cases where the wife is much the best 'cotton chopper' of the two, and her work far more desirable than her husband's. The wife works as hard as her husband--harder in fact, because when her field work is over she cooks the simple meals, washes the clothes, and patches the garments for her numerous family by the blaze of a lightwood torch after the members of the household are rolled in their respective 'quilts' and voyaging in slumberland. She does more than this, for she raises chickens and turkeys, sometimes geese and ducks, using the eggs for pocket money."

The women of this race have been industrious but it is only in late years, that they have reaped the

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fruits of their own industry. Many have built up businesses for themselves that net thousands of dollars. Mrs. Henrietta Duterte, the oldest and most successful undertaker of color in Philadelphia, is a brilliant example, Mrs. Addison Foster is also a successful worker in this field of effort.

Mrs. Winnie Watson of Louisville is a graduate of the Clark School of embalming. She graduated in a class of forty-five, three colored and forty-two white, and yet took first honor. She has entered into partnership with her husband who is an undertaker.

Mrs. Caroline E. White is a retired dry goods merchant of Philadelphia. Mrs. Margaret Jones, cateress, and many of our women in the Eastern and Western States having handsome millinery, dressmaking, and hair dressing parlors, carried on successfully attest the business capacity of the Afro-American woman. For years the finest tonsorial parlor on the Pacific coast, was owned and conducted by a woman of the race. As managers of the finest grade of hotels, they have been a marked success.

It is stated on the authority of numbers of reputable journals, that in the camp at Yasoo, Montana, a colored woman named Millie Ringold ran the first hotel at that place and established an enviable reputation as a prospector and also, that Mrs. C. Whetzel, a resident of St. John, New Brunswick, becoming widowed

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in early life continued the ice trade formerly carried on by her husband. She first secured a long lease on the only body of fresh water within city limits with this advantage secured she placed the whole business on a secure footing, providing all modern improvements to secure the desired end, and at present has the monopoly of this business in that city. Of late years she has invented an ice house, whereby meats and other provisions may be kept for months without losing their sweetness.

As stenographers, type writers, book keepers, and sales women those of the race who have gained a foothold in these employments have never failed to give satisfaction.

Mrs. M. E. Elliot years ago secured a patent on several toilet articles and opened branch establishments in many cities.

A colored woman has a contract for hauling sand at a small town in Florida. In connection with this work she carries on a small farm and poultry yard gaining thereby more than a comfortable living for herself and family. Miss Maud Benjamin, of Washington, has patented a call bell. Mrs. N. F. Mossell, of Phila., has invented a camping table and portable kitchen. Many unique inventions are now in the possession of Afro-American women too poor to secure patents.

That the women of this race did not lack force of

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character, was shown at an early day, when Elizabeth Freemen, popularly known as "Mum Bett," and Jennie Slew of Ipswich sued for their liberty under the Bill of Rights, both winning their cases.

It is also on record that Deborah Gannet, who had enlisted during the Revolutionary war in Captain Wells' company, under the name of Robert Shurtliffe, servings from May, 1782, until October 23, 1783, discharged the duties of her office and at the same time, preserved inviolate the virtue of her sex, and was granted therefore a pension of thirty-four pounds.

"'Happy' or Kate Ferguson, born a slave, opened a Sunday School in Dr. John Mason's Murray Street Church, in New York City, in 1774. She secured homes for forty-eight children, white and black. The school growing, the lecture room was opened, Dr. Mason and his teachers assisting 'Happy' in her work." So says Colored American, a book printed through a fund bequeathed by Lindley Murray, "to promote piety, virtue and the truths of Christianity." This was the beginning of the Sunday School in Murray Street Church, and Kate Ferguson, the colored woman who had been a slave is believed to have thus gathered the first Sunday School in New York City. Says W. E. Chandler in his history of the Sabbath Schools of New York City, after stating the above facts, "God bless the dusky hands that broke here an alabaster

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box, the perfume of which still lingers about the great metropolis."

We have in the line of musical composers, Miss Estelle Rickets, Miss Bragg, Miss Tillman, Mrs. Yeocum and Mrs. Ella Mossell. In artistic work, Miss Julia F. Jones, Mrs. Parker Denny and Miss Nelson, now an art student of Philadelphia, take rank with those who are doing successful work. Miss Ida Bowser is a graduate of one Musical Department of the University of Pennsylvania. We have also several graduates of the Boston Conservatory of Music. The New York Conservatory has also several of our girls as pupils; Miss Blanche D. Washington is a student in harmony and composition. Madame Thurber's invitation and Prof. Dvorak's statement that the future music of this country must be founded upon what are called Negro melodies, has given great encouragement to the young of the race who are ambitious musically. Of late years the dramatic instinct has developed sufficiently to enable the presentation of many of the best plays. The Afro-American woman taking her part therein with an ease and grace that astonishes those who go to mock her efforts. Perhaps the effort that is most unique and yet entirely consistent with the character of the race has been done along the line of philanthropic work. Within these later years since better opportunities for educational

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and industrial work have been opened to them in the more favored sections of the country; many of our women have turned aside from laboring for their individual success and given thought to the condition of the weak and suffering classes. They have shown that the marvellous loving kindness and patience that is recorded of the native women of Africa, by Mungo Park, the great African explorer, that forms the tie that still holds captive to this day the heart of the white foster child of the "black mammies" of the Southland was not crushed out by the iron heel of slavery but still wells up in their bosoms and in this brighter day overflows in compassion for the poor and helpless of their own down-trodden race.

Two of the earliest laborers in this field of effort were "Moses" and "Sojourner Truth," Harriet, known for many years as "Moses," was a full blooded African woman, who escaped from slavery on the Eastern shore of Maryland. She returned to the South nineteen times, carrying off four hundred slaves. Gov. Andrew of Massachusetts, sent her as a scout and spy with the union army during the war; at its close she labored for the soldiers in the hospitals and later with the "Freedmen's Bureau," she is now living at Auburn, N. Y., where she looks after the poor and infirm of her race. "Sojourner Truth" was born in Webster County, N. Y., she escaped from slavery and

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labored for years in the Anti-Slavery, Woman's Suffrage and Temperance movements. She was a woman of magnificent presence, great power and magnetism. She possessed at her death a book called by her, the "Book of Life," it contained kind words and thoughts for her from the great of every land. Mrs. Mary Ella Mossell, wife of Rev. C. W. Mossell, labored with her husband for eight years at Port Au Prince, Hayti, establishing at that point a mission school for girls. Mrs. Mossell died in America two years after her return to their home at Baltimore, Md. The school is a portion of the work of Foreign Missions of the A. M. E. Church, and has been named the Mossell Mission School in honor of its deceased founder.

Miss Elizabeth Ralls, the organizer of the "Sarah Allen Mission and Faith Home," of Philadelphia, is a remarkable character. Without education or wealth, with a heart overflowing with love to the poor, she has from childhood, labored in season and out of season in the mission cause. For many years she served a Christmas dinner to the poor of her race, in Philadelphia, over five hundred being present. Boxes of clothing and food were distributed monthly. Of late years she has rented a house and taken in the aged who could not gain admittance to other institutions. She takes her basket on her arm and goes to the market,

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gleaning for her poor. The whole work is carried on by faith. Her sweet, loving countenance, the "darlings" and "movies" that drop from her lips as she places the hands on one's shoulder and looks lovingly into the eyes of the person addressed carries conviction. Her coffers are always filled to the extent of the actual need of "her poor people," as she calls them. Mrs. Sarah Gorham is now a laborer in Africa under the Women's Write Missionary Society of the A. M. E. Church. Mission work has also been done in the South by Miss Lucy Laney, of Augusta, Ga., and Miss Alice Dugged Cary, Mrs. Lynch, and Mrs. McClean, in the West and Southwest are doing good work. Mrs. S. A. Williams, of New Orleans, has organized an orphanage which is succeeding. Mrs. Marry Barboza, a daughter of the late Henry Highland Garnet, late consul to Liberia, sacrificed her life laboring to establish a school for girls in Liberia. Mrs. Roberts, widow of ex-president Roberts, of Liberia, is laboring to establish a hospital for girls at that point. Mrs. Fanny Barrier Williams has co-operated with a corps of physicians in establishing a hospital and Nurses' Training School in Chicago. Mrs. Maria Shorter, wife of Bishop James Shorter, of the A. M. E. Church, by a large contribution, assisted in the opening of Wilberforce College. Mrs. Olivia Washington, the deceased wife of Prof. Booker Washington, of
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Tuskegee Industrial School, did much by her labors to place that institution on a secure footing. Mrs. I. Shipley, of Camden, N. J., has established a Faith Retreat at Asbury Park; she also does much mission work in her native city. Misses Fanny and Alma Somerville, of Philadelphia, are quiet but efficient mission workers, especially along the line of Working Girls' Clubs. Miss Planter, a wealthy lady of color, gave a large bequest to Livingstone College, N. C. Mrs. Catherine Teagle and Mrs. Harriet Hayden both bequeathed handsome sums to the cause of Afro-American education. Mrs. Stephen Smith and Mrs. Mary A. Campbell, wife of Bishop J. P. Campbell, and Mrs. Margaret Boling have given largely of their means and labors toward the establishment of the Old Folks' Home at Philadelphia. Miss Nettie Wilmer, who has done efficient mission work in various lines, is now laboring for the upbuilding of the Gloucester Industrial School, Va.

The Lend a Hand, Christian Endeavor, Epworth League and like institutions have a large contingent of our women as efficient workers. The last effort at organized work by the womanhood of this race has been the organization of two associations, namely, the Woman's Loyal Union of Brooklyn and New York, and the Colored Woman's League, of Washington, D. C. These associations have for their work the collecting

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of statistics and facts showing the moral, intellectual, industrial, and social growth and attainments of Afro-Americans. They aim to foster unity of purpose, to consider and determine the methods that will promote the best interests of the Afro-American race, to bring into active fellowship and organic union all movements which may be classed under the head of Woman's Work. It is also their intention to receive and distribute information concerning the activities of Afro-Americans throughout the length and breadth of the land.

Perhaps the greatest work in philanthropy yet accomplished by any woman of the race is that undertaken and so successfully carried out at the present hour by Miss Ida B. Wells.

This lady is a native of Holly Springs, Miss. She received a liberal education for the greater part at Rust University. A teacher for a few months in the State of Arkansas, she at a later date became a resident and teacher at Memphis, Tenn. This position she held for some seven years. Criticism of the condition of affairs prevailing in the colored school of Memphis gained the lady the ill-will of the Board of Education, and at the following term she failed to receive an appointment.

Miss Wells, nothing daunted, purchased a one-third interest in the Memphis Free Speech . The paper was much benefited by this fact and continued to be an eminent success from every point of view.

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March 9, 1892, occurred at Memphis (in a section of the town called the Curve) a most brutal and outrageous lynching of Afro-Americans. An attempt was made by the press of Memphis to justify this crime by the most flagrantly untruthful statements regarding the conduct of the men lynched.

Miss Wells at once began in Free Speech a series of letters and editorials setting forth the true state of the case. These editorials were succeeded by a series of articles criticising and condemning the treatment of her race in Memphis.

At a later date, during the month of May, 1892, there appeared in the columns of Free Speech an editorial from the pen of our heroine that has since become famous.

Starting out on a visit to Oklahoma and later to New York City, Miss Wells stopped in Philadelphia on a visit to Mrs. F. E. W. Harper and to take a peep at the doings of the A. M. E. General Conference then in session at the city. What was her consternation to find letters pouring in upon her from friends and correspondents at Memphis warning her not to return to her office on pain of being lynched. She was informed that her newspaper plant had been destroyed and the two male editors had been forced to flee for their lives.

Miss Wells was at once placed upon the staff of the

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New York Age , and in the issue of that paper of June 27, 1892, gave the facts that led to the suspension of her paper and the real motive for Lynch and Mob Law.

In the early fall Miss Wells entered upon a lecturing tour among her own race in the United States; later a committee of ladies under the title of The Woman's Loyal Union of Brooklyn and New York gave her a grand reception, a testimonial purse of $400 and also a beautiful gold pen engraved with the legend "Mizpah."

Miss Wells continued her lecturing tour meeting with a hearty welcome, especially in the city of Boston. The press of that city gave her a flattering reception, publishing lengthy interviews and carefully reporting her addresses. Mrs. Josephine Ruffin, of the Boston Courant , used her influence to get Miss Wells's cause a hearing before the most exclusive Women's Clubs of Boston and with great success. The Moral Educational Association, of Boston, was of this number.

The ire of the Memphis press was aroused by the courtesy shown Miss Wells at Boston, and retaliated by flooding the North with slanderous accusations against the martyr editor.

During the late fall Miss Wells was visited at Philadelphia by Miss Catherine Impey, of London, England, editor of Anti-Caste . By this lady's invitation

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Miss Wells sailed to Englsnd in the spring to present her cause to the reform element of English society. She lectured on "Lynch Law," in England and Scotland, for many weeks, speaking at forty meetings in most of the prominent cities of England and Scotland. At Glasgow, London, Liverpool, Edinburg, Aberdeen, Huntley, Morningside, Manchester, Carruter's Close, and many other points, she was heartily welcomed by the best people; great interest in the cause she represented was thereby aroused. This interest culminated in the formation of an important society.

In the drawing-room of Mrs. Isabella Favie Mayo, April 21, 3 P. M., 1893, at Aberdeen, Scotland, with Miss Wells, Miss Catherine Impey and Dr. George Fernands, together with fifty of the most prominent clergy, professionals, tradesmen and others, was put in operation a force that will tell on the life of unborn generations. A second meeting was held later on at Music Hall, Aberdeen, April 24th. Professor Iverach offered a resolution condemnatory of lynching, which was seconded by Rev. James Henderson, the son of an ex-Mayor of this city.

The society formed received the name of "The Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man." Its aims were stated in the following declaration:--

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(a) The Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man declares itself fundamentally opposed to the system of race separation, by which the despised members of a community are cut off from the social, civil, and religious life of their fellow-men.

(b) It regards lynching and other forms of brutal injustice inflicted on the weaker communities of the world as having their root in Race Prejudice, which is directly fostered by the estrangement and lack; of sympathy consequent on Race Separation.

(c) This Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man therefore requires its members to refrain from all complicity in the system of Race Separation, whether as individuals, or by co-membership in organizations which tolerate and provide the same.

And those becoming members gave the following pledge:--

I , the undersigned, promise to help in securing to every member of the human family, Freedom, Equal Opportunity and Brotherly Consideration .

The publication *

(*) In view of the recent death of S. J. Celestine Edwards, editor of Fraternity, the Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man have considered it advisable to declare that publication no longer the official organ of the society. Fraternity , into which Anti-Caste

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had been merged, became the organ of the Society, and S. J. Celestine Edwards was appointed editor.

Miss Eliza Wigham, Secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society, entertained Miss Wells during this visit.

Miss Wells soon after returned to the States, established herself in Chicago, and as a staff contributor to The Conservator and New York Age did valuable work that led to a wide-spread discussion of the subject of lynching of Afro-Americans in the Southland. Soon after she began the preparation of a pamphlet entitled "The Reason Why," for distribution at the World's Fair. This was a most carefully prepared series of papers on race subjects by such writers as the Hon. Fred. Douglass, I. Garland Penn, F. L. Barnett and Ida B. Wells.

Miss Wells was sent by the Inter-Ocean to secure the facts concerning a lynching case; these facts she secured and the result of her work was published in the columns of that influential journal.

Soon after, a few hours before the lynching of Lee Walker, at Memphis, Tenn., the following telegram was sent to the Inter-Ocean , Chicago:--

" Memphis , July 22.

"To Inter-Ocean , Chicago: -- Lee Walker, colored man, accused of --, to be taken out and burned by whites. Can you send Miss Ida Wells to write it up? Answer.

R.M. Martin , with Pub. Ledger ."

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Miss Wells did much effective work for the race at the World's Fair. At its close she was soon after invited to again lecture in England under the auspices of "The Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man," which she had been instrumental in forming at her previous visit.

On February 28, 1894, Miss Wells once more sailed for the shores of "Old England." While making her second lecturing tour, under the auspices of the above-named Society, resolutions endorsing her mission were secured from the following associations: The Congregational Union, National Baptist Association, Young Men's Christian Association, National British Women's Temperance Association, Women's Liberal Association, Society of Friends, Society for the Union of Churches, and the Unitarian Conference.

Lady Jeune, Mrs. Lockhart Smith, Charles F. Aked, Sir Edward Russell, and other prominent persons and members of the nobility opened their drawing-rooms to a favored few to listen to the story of the woes of Afro-Americans as recited by Miss Wells, Sir Joseph Pease presided at the parliamentary breakfast given in Miss Wells' honor.

Miss Ellen Richards, who so many years ago had purchased the freedom of Frederick Douglass and Wm. Wells Brown, received our young philanthropist as her honored guest,

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The following clipping from one of Miss Wells' letters to the New York Age will give an excellent idea of the drift of the public meetings held by her in London:--

The Rev. C. F. Aked (Liverpool) moved: "That this union, having learned with grief and horror of the wrongs done to the colored people of the Southern States of America by lawless mobs, expresses the opinion that the perpetuation of such outrages, unchecked by the civil power, must necessarily reflect upon the administration of justice in the United States and upon the honor of its people. It therefore calls upon all lovers of justice, of freedom, and of brother-hood in the churches of the United States, to demand for every citizen of the Republic, accused of crime, a proper trial in the courts of law." He said that the scandal he referred to had no parallel in the history of the world, and it was their duty as Christians to do their best to put a stop to it. In the Southern States of America there are 25,000 negro teachers in elementary schools, 500 negro preachers trained in the theological institutes of the people themselves, and 2500 negro preachers who had not received college training. The colored race had also produced 300 lawyers, 400 doctors, 200 newspapers, and they possessed property valued at 50,000,000 sterling. Yet these people are being whipped, scourged, hanged,

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flayed, and roasted at the stake. There had been 1000 lynchings within the last ten years, and the average now was from 150 to 200 every year. Some of these murders were foul beyond expression and such as to appall and disgrace humanity. Most of the lynchings were alleged to be for assaults upon women, but only a small proportion of cases were really of that kind. The mobs who lynched these poor people were generally drunk and half insane and always bestial. The church must not keep silent while the press spoke out, and he was glad to see that the Daily Chronicle was doing splendid service in the cause of humanity,-- (cheers)--called attention to the subject that morning, and told them to give a moral nudge to their American brethren. It was the duty of great nations to shame each other, and if they could do any good, he should be pleased. He appealed to them to prove by their action the solidarity of the human race and the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God, and thus to further the interest of the kingdom of heaven. (Cheers.)

Rev. Charles F. Aked was one of Miss Wells' ablest English supporters, and gave an excellent account of her work in the Review of the Churches

Speaking of the purpose to be served by Miss Wells' mission to England, Mr. Aked says;--

"One thing she has set herself to do, and that there

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seems to be every possibility of her accomplishing.

Miss Wells does not suppose that any direct political action can be taken, but she does suppose that British opinion, if aroused, can influence American press and pulpit, and through the press and pulpit the people of the Northern States."

The Anti-Lynching Committee formed in England has just given to the world through the publication of a letter from Miss Florence Balgarnie in the August 23d issue of the New York Age a list of its members. The men and women who in the name of humanity and civilization have banded themselves together in this committee are still adding both British and Americans to their numbers. Among those who have already joined are:--

The Right Honorable the Duke of Argyle, K. G., K. T.; the Rev. C. F. Aked, Liverpool; Mr. W. Allan, M. P., Gateshead-on-Tyne; Mr. Wm. E. A. Axon, Manchester; the Rev. R. Armstrong, Liverpool; Mr. Thomas Burt, M. P., Morpeth; the Right Honorable Jacob Bright, M. P., Manchester; Mrs. Jacob Bright; Mr. Wm. Byles, M. P., Bradford; Mrs. Byles, Bradford; Mr. W. Blake-Odgers, Mr. E. K. Blyth, Mr. Percy Bunting, Mrs. Percy Bunting, Mr. Herbert Burrows, Mr. Bertram, Miss Bertram, Mr. P. W. Clayden, Mrs. P. W. Clayden, Mr. James G. Clarke,

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the Rev. Dr. John Clifford, London; Sir Charles Cameron, Bart., M. P., Glasgow; Mr. Francis A. Channing, M. P., Southampton; the Rev. Estlin Carpenter, Oxford; Mr. Moncure D. Conway, Mrs. Conway, U.S.A. and London; Mrs. E. T. Cook, London; Mr. Wm. Crosfield, M. P, Liverpool; Mrs. J. Passmore Edwards, London; Mr. C. Diamond, M. P., Monaghan, N.; Mr. T. E. Ellis, M. P., Nottingham; Mr. A. E. Fletcher, London; Miss Isabella Ford, Leeds; the Right Honorable Sir T. Eldon Gorst, M. P., Cambridge University; Mr. Frederic Harrison; Mr. Justin McCarthy, M. P., Longford, N.; Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji, M. P., India and London; the Rev. Dr. Newman Hall, the Rev. Dr. Robert Horton, Mr. T. A. Lang, London; Miss Kate Riley, Southport; Lady Stevenson, London; Dr. Spence Watson, Mrs. Spence Watson, Gateshead-on-Tyne; Mr. J. A. Murray Macdonald, M. P., Mr. Tom Mann, London; the Rev. Dr. W. F. Moulton, Cambridge; Sir Joseph Pease, Bart., M. P., Durham; Sir Hugh Gilzen Reid, Birmingham; Mrs. Henry Richardson, York; Sir Edward Russell, Liverpool; Mr. Sapara, Africa and London; Mr. C. P. Scott, Manchester; Professor James Stuart, M. P., Mrs. Stuart, London; Mr. Charles Schwann, M. P., Manchester; Miss Sharman-Crawford, Ulster; the Rev. Canon Shuttleworth, London; the Rev. S. Alfred Steinthal, Manchester; Mrs. Stanton-Blatch,
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U. S. A. and Basingstoke; Alderman Ben Tillett, London; Mr. John Wilson, M. P., Glasgow; the Rev. Philip Wicksteed, Mrs. Wicksteed, London; Mr. Alfred Webb, M. P., Waterford, W.; Mr. S. D. Wade, London; Mr. Mark Whitwill, Bristol; Miss Eliza Wigham, Edinburgh; Mr. Wm. Woodall, M. P., Hanley; Mr. J. Passmore Edwards, honorable treasurer; Miss Florence Balgarnie, honorable secretary.

This has been further supplemented by the following list from the Philadelphia Press of Sunday, August 26,1894, containing many English, and not a few names of persons of great influence, natives of the United States:--

Duke of Argyle, Sir John Gorst, member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge and student of Social Phenomena; Justin McCarthy, Sir John Lubbock, Ellis Ashmead Bartlett, Rt. Rev. Ed. White Benson, Archbishop of York and Primate of all England; Passmore Edwards, treasurer, who has in hand 5000 pounds to carry on the work of the committee; Mrs. Humphrey Ward, president of the Women's Auxilliary Branch of the League; Lady Henry Somerset, the Countess of Aberdeen; the Countess of Meath, founder of the Ministering Children's League; J. Keir Hardie. Americans--Richard Watson Gilder, of Century Company; Samuel Gompers, labor leader;

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Miss Frances Willard, Archbishop Ireland, Dr. John Hall, W. Bourke Cochran, Carl Schurz, Mgr. Ducey, Bishop David Lessums, of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana; Archbishop Francis Jansens, of the Roman Catholic Arch-Diocese of Louisiana; Bishop Hugh Miller Thompson, of Mississippi; Bishop A. Van de Vyer, of Virginia.

The Legislatures of Texas, Alabama and Florida have consented to give a hearing to deputations sent out by the League.

The following interesting and pathetic fact is stated (concerning the first contribution to the funds of the above-mentioned League) by Miss Wells in the Aug. 23d, 1894, issue of the New York Age :--

The first donation that the committee received came from a party of a dozen Africans who were in England. Desiring to show their appreciation of what had been done for me and the cause of the race, they sent 14 pounds, or nearly $70, as a testimonial of appreciation. I shall be glad to give a copy of their letter in another issue. We want the same voluntary response on this side to carry on the work here. Shall we have it?

Ida B. Wells.

128 Clark street, Chicago, Ill.

Returning to the United States July 24, 1894, Miss Wells was enabled to be present in person at a meeting of endorsement of her work in England held at

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Fleet Street, A. M. E. Church, New York City. T. Thomas Fortune, editor of the New York Age and President of the National Afro-American League, had called for a national expression on Lynch Law by the various Leagues throughout the country, and the above-mentioned meeting voiced New York's Afro-American sentiment on the question.

The press comments on Miss Wells' work would already fill many volumes, some favorable, others unfavorable to the cause of the Afro-American, but all showing conclusively the truth of a statement made by Miss Wells in a recent issue of the Age :

"That the Afro-American has the ear of the civilized world for the first time since emancipation." Eminent Afro-American leaders, such as the Hon. Frederick Douglass; Rev. Harvey Johnson, D.D., Baltimore, Md.; Bishop H. M. Turner and Dr. H. T. Johnson, of the Christian Recorder , have endorsed Miss Wells work, also the National Afro-American League, Equal Rights Council of Boston, Afro-American Leagues of Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Bedford, New Haven, Rochester, and other cities.

" Chicago , Aug. 18--The Chicago Anti-Lynching Committee has effected permanent organization with the following officers: President, F. L. Barnett; vice-president, Mrs. J. C. Plummer; secretary, Dr. C. E. Bently; treasurer, C. H. Smiley. There is an executive

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committee of nine, two of whom are women. There is already a membership enrolment of 30 and the representative citizens of Chicago, including the pastors of the churches, have enlisted to fight Lynch Law.

"The Central Executive Council have organized at Brooklyn, N. Y., the following-named officers being elected: W. L. Hunter, president; Rev. A. J. Henry, vice-president; W. H. Dickerson, secretary; and Rev. W. T. Dixon, treasurer. Mr. S. R. Scottron, Rev. Lawton, Drs. W. A. Morton, Coffey and Harper and Rufus L. Perry are eminent workers in this cause."

Who shall say that such a work accomplished by one woman, exiled and maligned by that community among whom she had so long and so valiantly labored, bending every effort to the upbuilding of the manhood and womanhood of all races, shall not place her in the front rank of philanthropists, not only of the womanhood of this race, but among those laborers of all ages and all climes?

Before closing this chapter of race history, how shall we estimate those humble workers who have labored for the upbuilding of our churches and societies, the opening up everywhere to the race more favorable school privileges, such noble souls as Mary McFarland Jennings and Mrs. Mary Browne, wife of William Browne of The True Reformers; those dear ones who have so modestly ministered to the wants of the sick

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and afflicted until their record of good works has followed them abroad, as with Mrs. Florida Grant, the beloved wife of Bishop Abram Grant, and that sweet, quiet worker in the Master's Vineyard, Mrs. Eliza Turner, the deceased wife of Bishop H. M. Turner?

Two classes we have failed to mention thus far, but our hearts hold them in fullest remembrance: those uncrowned queens of the fireside who have been simply home-keepers, raising large families to a noble manhood and womanhood; among these stand forth pre-eminently Mrs. Elizabeth Steward, wife of Dr. T. G. Steward, and Mrs. Bishop B. T. Tanner, and those other sisters still dearer to us, whose work lies around us with its sweet fragrance until it seems almost too sacred to weave into this chaplet of pearls. Of this number are Martha Briggs, Rebecca Steward, Katie Campbell Becket, and Grace Douglass.

We close this tribute to Afro-American womanhood with a heart warmed and cheered, feeling that we have proved our case.

Hath not the bond-woman and her scarce emancipated daughter done what they could?

Will not our more favored sisters, convinced of our desires and aspirations because of these first few feeble efforts, stretch out the helping hand that we may rise to a nobler, purer womanhood?

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    THE WORK OF THE AFRO-AMERICAN WOMAN   Table of Contents     A SKETCH OF AFRO-AMERICAN LITERATURE