African American Civil War Nurse and Teacher

Susie Baker began life as a slave on August 6, 1848, at the Grest Plantation in Liberty County, Georgia, 35 miles south of Savannah. She was the first of nine children of Hagar Ann Reed and Raymond Baker. Her mother was a domestic servant for the Grest family.

The Grests treated Susie and her brother with great affection, their childless mistress even allowing them to sleep on her bed when her husband was …Read More...

Women in Education: Teacher of Emancipated Slaves

Charlotte Forten was the first northern African American schoolteacher to go south to teach former slaves. As a black woman, she hoped to find kinship with the freedmen, but her own education set her apart from the former slaves. For two years she stayed on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, but ill health forced her to return north. In 1864, she published "Life on the Sea Islands" in The Atlantic Monthly, which brought …Read More...

Virginia Teacher of Free Black Children

In the first half of the nineteenth century a number of slave rebellions occurred, which frightened white citizens and underscored the need to maintain tight control over the literacy of blacks. In June 1852 Margaret Douglass, a white former slaveholder from South Carolina, began a school for free black children in her home in Norfolk, Virginia. An unlikely martyr for black education, Douglass was arrested in May 1853 for violating the law - she …Read More...

Feminist, Author and Social Reformer

Hallie Quinn Brown was an abolitionist, educator, writer and women's rights activist in the Civil War era. She was born March 10, 1845 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to former slaves, Thomas and Frances Scroggins Brown. Both were well-educated and actively involved with the Underground Railroad.

In 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, Hallie moved with her parents and five siblings to Chatham, Ontario, where her father earned his living as a farmer, and the …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...

America's First Trained Nurse

Linda Richards (1841–1930) was the first professionally trained nurse in the United States. Her experiences with nursing her dying mother and her husband, who was wounded in the Civil War, inspired Richards to become a nurse. She was the first student to enroll in the first nurse training school at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in 1872. She established nurse training programs in the United States and Japan, and created the first system …Read More...