Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony

Roanoke Island is located between the Outer Banks and the mainland coast of North Carolina. It is well known as the site of the Lost Colony, where the first settlement of British colonists disappeared in 1587. It is not so well known for another colony that was established during the Civil War. The island was important militarily because it is located near the opening of two major sounds and is protected somewhat from the harsh weather …Read More...

Dressmaker and Confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln

Elizabeth Keckley was a former slave who became a successful seamstress and author in Washington, DC, after buying her freedom in St. Louis. She created an independent business with clients who were the wives of the government elite: Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, Mary Randolph Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee, and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born in 1818 in Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia. Her biological …Read More...

Teacher of African American Children

For 37 years Fannie Jackson Coppin was teacher, then principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, making her the first African American woman to receive the title of school principal. During her tenure, she made many improvements at the school, believing that a broader range of education would be necessary to enable African Americans to become self-supporting.

Fannie Jackson was born a slave in Washington, DC, on October 15, 1837. Fannie's grandfather …Read More...

Lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society

Sarah Parker Remond was an African American abolitionist, doctor and lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She delivered speeches throughout the United States on the horrors of slavery. Because of her eloquence, she was chosen to travel to England to gather support for the abolitionist cause in the United States.

Sarah Parker Remond was born in 1826 in Salem, Massachusetts, one of eight children. Her mother Nancy was the daughter of a man who …Read More...

African American Evangelist and Missionary

Amanda Berry Smith, a preacher and missionary, was a former slave who became an inspiration to thousands of women both black and white. During a forty-five-year missionary career of arduous travel on four continents, this self-educated former slave and washerwoman became a highly visible and well-respected leader despite intense opposition to women in public ministry, a crescendo of white racist violence and the tightening grip of segregation.

Childhood
Amanda Berry was born in born …Read More...

Writer and Slave Who Won Her Freedom in Court

Lucy Ann Delaney (1830–1891) was an African American author, former slave and activist, notable for her 1891 slave narrative, From the Darkness Cometh the Light, or, Struggles for Freedom. The memoir tells of her mother's legal battles in St. Louis, Missouri for her own and her daughter's freedom from slavery. Their cases were two of 301 freedom suits filed in St. Louis from 1814-1860. Edward Bates, the future US Attorney General …Read More...