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African American Women: 1492 to 1863: Slavery

The lives of black women in America before the Civil War ended. Slave narratives, notable African American women including Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Sally Hemings and Harriet Tubman, bibliographies, and much more black history.
  1. 19th Century Women
  2. African American Women
  3. Early American Women
  4. Racial Justice Supporters
  5. Sally Hemings (16)
  6. Sojourner Truth (15)
  7. Harriet Tubman (28)

African American History and Women - Timelines 1492-1863

Women Abolitionists
Women abolitionists -- profiles of women abolitionists, including African American abolitionists and white women who worked for abolition.

Fugitive Slave Law Convention of 1850
An early photograph shows men and women, black and white, attending an anti-slavery meeting in about 1840.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary
Mary Ann Shadd Cary biography - a profile of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, African American teacher, journalist, and law school graduate who lived for some years in Canada.

Lydia Maria Child: Anti-Slavery Correspondence
Lydia Maria Child, who wrote one of the first American anti-slavery books, here discusses slavery with Gov. Wise and Mrs. Mason of Virginia and also writes to John Brown.

Henriette Delille - Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family
A biography of Henriette Delille, founder of an African American religious order in New Orleans in the 19th century.

Old Elizabeth
Profile of Old Elizabeth, early African Methodist Episcopal preacher, emancipated slave, and African American woman writer.

Old Elizabeth: Memoir
Text of the 1863 autobiography of an African American ex-slave and preacher, called Old Elizabeth.

Charlotte Forten Grimké
Charlotte Forten's parents and grandparents were prominent in the free black community in Philadelphia. She went to the Sea Islands during the Civil War, where the Union troops had freed black slaves, and served as a teacher, writing about her experiences.

Sally Hemings
From your About Guide to Women's History, a biography, net resources, information about her children (with Thomas Jefferson?), and more.

Elizabeth Key
Elizabeth Key, the daughter of a black slave and a free English settler in Virginia, won her freedom and right to marry in 1656 on the basis of English common law that free or bond status followed the father's status. But soon states changed their laws to override that common law.

Maria Stewart
Maria W. Stewart: a biography of Maria W. Stewart, pioneer public speaker and abolitionist.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Facts
A profile of Harriet Beecher Stowe, 19th century author.

Phillis Wheatley
A biography of Phillis Wheatley and an analysis of her poetry. Phillis Wheatley was a slave in Massachusetts at the time of the Revolutionary War who was educated by her owners and became a poet and sensation for a few years.

Phillis Wheatley - Analysis of Her Poems
Critics have differed on the contribution of Phillis Wheatley's poetry to America's literary tradition. Most critics agree that the fact that a slave could write and publish poetry at that time and place is itself noteworthy in history. Critics through the decades have also been split on the quality and importance of her poems.

Harriet Tubman: Moses of Her People
A four-part in-depth biography of Harriet Tubman, highlighting the four phases of her life: her life in slavery, her years as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, her service in the U.S. Civil War, and her later years working for reform and telling her story.

Sojourner Truth: Biography
Famous 19th century abolitionist and women's rights supporter: biography and links from your About Guide to Women's History.

African-American Experience in Ohio 1850 - 1920
A digital collection of materials on black history in Ohio.

Address of Dr. Alexander Crummell
The condition of African American women in slavery, and how to improve the lot of black women in the present generation (1880s).

Jacobs, Harriet: and the reframing of legal fictions
Christina Accomando, in a 1998 African American Review article, looks at how Harriet Jacobs' Life of a Slave Girl helps in looking at antebellum legal reasoning. An extensive analysis of the book that has become a prototypical slave narrative.

Lester, Vilet: Letter 1857
A rare letter from a slave, inquiring about her daughter, whom her new master is willing to buy to reunite with her mother.

Valentine, Hannah & Lethe Jackson
These letters from house slaves to the Campbell family, were written 1837-38 while David Campbell was Virginia's governor.

Women in America: Race
Travelers to America in 1820-1842 describe the relationship of race and sex as they observe American customs and practices.

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