Tag: Education

Born free in South Carolina, Daniel came North at an early age and was initially a school teacher in Philadelphia before he left his connection with the Methodist church and joined the African Methodist Episcopal church. In 1852, he was elected AME bishop and his tenure was called the most significant since that of Richard Allen’s, the church founder. It was Payne who purchased Wilberforce College in 1863 from white Methodists and made it the first black college in the US. Payne served as its president. Daniel is recognized for his work that not only improved the...

The granddaughter of wealthy sailmaker, James Forten, and the niece of Harriet Forten Purvis, Charlotte grew up in a privileged black family in Philadelphia and New England. When her mother died in 1840, she was raised by various members of her extended family and in 1854 moved with one of her aunts to live in Salem, Massachusetts. It is there she attended a private school, where she was the only non-white student. In Salem, she became a member of the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society and became the first non-white person to teach white students in the public school. During...

The granddaughter of Cyrus Bustill, a founder of the Free African Society in 1787 in Philadelphia, Sarah Mapps was an educator, writer, public lecturer, amateur artist, and abolitionist. As an artist, she often put painted images on her signed letters. Many examples of these survive today and are the earliest surviving examples of signed painting by an African American woman. At one time Sarah considered becoming a medical doctor and was the first African American women to attend the Women's Medical College in Philadelphia. After a year, she changed directions and became a teacher at the Institute for Colored...

A mathematician, linguist and educator, Reason became the first African American university professor at a predominately white college in America. In 1852, he left the post at New York Central College to become principal at the Institute for Colored Youth. Two years later, the young O.V. Catto came under his tutelage as a student. Reason instituted significant improvements at ICY and Catto was a beneficiary of these. Reason increased student enrollment, expanded the library holdings and exposed the students to outstanding African American intellectuals and leaders of that time. Reason was also known for his activities in the cause...

From their childhood as students at the Vaux School, White and Catto forged a life-long friendship. As sons of prominent Philadelphia families, the two were in the same social and later political circles throughout their lives. They were outgoing, energetic young men on the move! White's father was director of the Sunday school at First African Presbyterian Church; Catto's father was the pastor. The two young men were members of the Banneker Institute and also had formed the Pythian early base ball team together. Jacob White became a highly respected educator and the first African American school principal in...

Born into slavery, Jackson became free when her aunt purchased her freedom at age 12. She entered Oberlin College in 1860, and while there spent her evenings giving free courses at no cost in reading and writing to free blacks. After her graduation with a Bachelor's degree in 1865, she was appointed principal of the Ladies Department at the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY). In 1869, she became head of the school, replacing Ebenezer Bassett, who was appointed as Minister to Haiti by President Grant. During her 37 years at ICY, Jackson was responsible for vast education improvements. After...

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