African American Abolitionists
Abraham (1801-82) was born and reared in Wilmington, De., the grandson of a
Hessian soldier wounded in the French and Indian War and a black woman who nursed
him back to health. A shoemaker and grocer in Wilmington, he was also a station
keeper for the UGRR. He and his wife Harriet had 13 children, the oldest of them Mary
The Shadds moved to West Chester so that he could further support his efforts as an
UGRR agent. Mary Anne was educated at a Quaker school in West Chester. She later
became a teacher and helped with the family support of the UGRR.
After the Fugitive Slave law of 1850, Mary Ann Shadd moved to Ontario, followed by
her parents. There she married Thomas Cary and opened a school for black and white
children. She became the first black woman publisher in North America--the Provincial
Freeman, a weekly abolitionist newspaper.
Cary helped raise troops during Civil War. She stayed in Washington D. C. and
taught, while earning a law degree from Howard University. She became the first black
women with a law degree in America. She was a great public speaker and social
activist, advocating the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments. Engaged in the
fight for women&'39;s suffrage, she joined the National Women&'39;s Suffrage Association, and
spoke at their national convention in 1878.