Tag: Institute for Colored Youth

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...

Bassett came to Philadelphia in 1855 from Connecticut and took an appointment at the Institute of Colored Youth as principal, teacher and librarian. In this role, he built upon the education philosophy of Charles Reason and engaged his students with some of the leading thinkers of the day. He had a close association with John Brown and during the Civil War he was among the men with Catto and Frederick Douglass recruiting black soldiers for the USCT. When President Grant appointed him as minister to Haiti, Bassett became the highest ranking African American in public service. A historical marker...

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...

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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