Mary Jane Patterson
|Died||September 24, 1894 54) (aged|
|Alma mater||Oberlin College (BA)|
Mary Jane Patterson (September 12, 1840 – September 24, 1894) was the first African-American woman to receive a B.A degree in 1862.
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.
Mary Jane Patterson was the oldest of Henry Irving Patterson and Emeline Eliza (Taylor) Patterson's children. There is conflicting data on how many siblings she had, but most sources cite between seven and ten. Henry Patterson worked as a bricklayer and plasterer who gained his freedom, after Mary was born, in 1852. After this, he moved his family north to Ohio. The Pattersons settled in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1856. Oberlin had a large community of black families; some were freed slaves and some were fugitive slaves. Oberlin was popular because it had a racially integrated co-ed college. Henry Patterson worked as a master mason, and for many years the family boarded large numbers of black students in their home.
Oberlin is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, United States, southwest of Cleveland. Oberlin is the home of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college and music conservatory with approximately 3,000 students.
After graduation Mary Patterson was listed as teaching in Chillicothe, Ohio. On September 21, 1864, she applied for a position in Norfolk, Virginia at a school for black children. On October 7, 1864, E. H. Fairchild, principal of Oberlin College's preparatory department from 1853 to 1869, wrote a recommendation for an "appointment from the American missionary Association as a ... teacher among freedmen." In this letter he described her as "a light quadroon, a graduate of this college, a superior scholar, a good singer, a faithful Christian, and a genteel lady. She had success is teaching and is worthy of the highest ... you pay to ladies."
Chillicothe is a city in and the county seat of Ross County, Ohio, United States. Located along the Scioto River 45 miles south of Columbus, Chillicothe was the first and third capital of Ohio.
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 242,803; in 2017, the population was estimated to be 244,703 making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.
In 1865 Patterson became an assistant to Fanny Jackson Coppin at the Philadelphia's Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania). In 1869 to 1871 Patterson taught in Washington, D. C., at the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth known today as Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.). She served as the school's first Black principal, from 1871 to 1872. Patterson was demoted and served as assistant principal under Richard Theodore Greener, the first black Harvard University graduate. She was reappointed from 1873 to 1884. During her administration, the school grew from less than 50 to 172 students, the name "Preparatory High School" was dropped, high school commencements were initiated, and a teacher-training department was added to the school. Patterson's commitment to thoroughness as well as her "forceful" and "vivacious" personality helped her establish the school's strong intellectual standards.Patterson continued to teach at the High School until her death. While in D.C., Mary Patterson lived with her sisters, Emma and Chanie, and her brother, John at 1532 Fifteenth Street Northwest. In the Late 1880s Patterson's parents came to live with them due to financial difficulties. Neither Mary nor her sisters ever married.
Fanny Jackson Coppin was an African-American educator and missionary and a lifelong advocate for female higher education.
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is a public, co-educational and the nation's first historically black university, founded in 1837. The university is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Cheyney University has a 275-acre (1.11 km2) campus that is located in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, a community within Thornbury Township, Chester County, and Thornbury Township, Delaware County, in the state of Pennsylvania. Cheyney University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The university offers bachelor's and master's degrees. In November 2015, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education placed Cheyney University on probation. Administrators are required to address a variety of issues including finances, leadership, and assessment of learning.
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School is a public secondary school located in Washington, D.C., United States. The school is located in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington, two blocks from the intersection of New Jersey and New York avenues. Dunbar, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Patterson was also a humanitarian and was active in many organizations. She devoted time and money to Black institutions in Washington, D. C. Mary Patterson's obituary in the Evening Star said she "co-operated heartily in sustaining the Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored People in this city and other Kindred organizations."Mary Patterson was part of the Colored Woman's League of Washington D.C., which was committed to the "racial uplift" of colored women. The group focused on kindergarten teaching training, rescue work, and classes for industrial schools and homemaking.
Mary Jane Patterson died at her Washington, D. C. home, September 24, 1894, at the age of 54. Although she is a not well-known figure, Mary Jane Patterson was a pioneer in black education and paved the way for other black female educators.and was born September 12 1840
Mary Church Terrell was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree, and became known as a national activist for civil rights and suffrage. She taught in the Latin Department at the M Street school —the first African American public high school in the nation—in Washington, DC. In 1896, she was the first African-American woman in the United States to be appointed to the school board of a major city, serving in the District of Columbia until 1906. Terrell was a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1909) and the Colored Women's League of Washington (1894). She also helped found the National Association of Colored Women (1896) and served as its first national president, and she also was a founding member of the National Association of College Women (1910).
John Mercer Langston was an abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat, and politician in the United States. An African American, he became the first dean of the law school at Howard University and helped create the department. He was the first president of what is now Virginia State University, a historically black college.
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper was an American author, educator, sociologist, speaker, Black Liberation activist, and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in United States history. Upon receiving her PhD in history from the Sorbonne in 1924, Cooper became the fourth African-American woman to earn a doctoral degree. She was also a prominent member of Washington, D.C.'s African-American community and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Mary Burnett Talbert was an American orator, activist, suffragist and reformer. Called "the best known Colored Woman in the United States," Talbert was among the most prominent African Americans of her time. In 2005, Talbert was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Sarah Jane Woodson Early, born Sarah Jane Woodson, was an American educator, black nationalist, temperance activist and author. A graduate of Oberlin College, she was hired at Wilberforce University in 1858 as the first black woman college instructor and she was the first black American to teach at an historically black college or university (HBCU).
Lewis Sheridan Leary, an African-American harnessmaker from Oberlin, Ohio, joined John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, where he was killed. He was the first husband of Mary Patterson. By her second marriage to Charles Henry Langston, she became the future maternal grandmother of poet Langston Hughes.
Hallie Quinn Brown was an African-American educator, writer and activist.
Charles Henry Langston (1817–1892) was an American abolitionist and political activist who was active in Ohio and later in Kansas, during and after the American Civil War, where he worked for black suffrage and other civil rights. He was a spokesman for blacks of Kansas and "the West".
Sarah J. Tompkins Garnet was an African-American educator and suffragist from New York City who was a pioneer as the first African-American female school principal in the New York City public school system.
Garnet Crummell Wilkinson was an American educator best known for running the African-American public school system in Washington, DC during segregation. At the time Washington, DC had the reputation of having the best public schools in the nation for African Americans.
Lucy Addison was an African-American school teacher and principal. In 2011 Addison was honored as one of the Library of Virginia's "Virginia Women in History" for her contributions to education.
Mary Evans Wilson (1866-1928) was one of Boston's leading civil rights activists. She was a founding member of the Boston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the founder of the Women's Service Club.
Anna Evans Murray (1857–1955) was an American civic leader, educator, and early advocate of free kindergarten and the training of kindergarten teachers. In 1898 she successfully lobbied Congress for the first federal funds for kindergarten classes, and introduced kindergarten to the Washington, D.C. public school system.
Sarah F. Cowles Little (1838–1912) was an American educator from the U.S. state of Ohio. She served as Superintendent of the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Bess Bolden Walcott (1886-1988) was an African American educator, librarian, museum curator and activist who helped establish the historical significance of the Tuskegee University. Recruited by Booker T. Washington to help him coordinate his library and teach science, she remained at the institute until 1962, but continued her service into the 1970s. Throughout her fifty-four year career at Tuskegee, she organized Washington's library, taught science and English at the institute, served as founder and editor of two of the major campus publications, directed public relations, established the Red Cross chapter, curated the George Washington Carver collection and museum and assisted in Tuskegee being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ida Alexander Gibbs was the wife of William Henry Hunt and a longtime friend of W. E. B. Du Bois. She was an advocate of racial and gender equality, and co-founded one of the first YWCAs in Washington, D.C. for African-Americans.
Anna H. Jones was a Canadian-born American clubwoman, suffragist, and educator based in later life in Kansas City, Missouri.
Frankie E. Harris Wassom (1850-1933) was an American writer and educator.
Oberlin Academy Preparatory School, also known as Oberlin Academy but originally Oberlin Institute and then Preparatory Department of Oberlin College, was a private preparatory school in Oberlin, Ohio which operated from 1833 until 1916. It opened as Oberlin Collegiate Institute which became Oberlin College in 1850. The secondary school serving local and boarding students continued as a department of the college. The school and college admitted African Americans and women. This was very unusual and controversial. It was located on the Oberlin College campus for much of its history and many of its students continued on to study at Oberlin College.
Baumann,Roland M. "Patterson, Mary Jane." African American National Biography. Oxford African American Studies Center. 20 October 2009. <http://www.oxford.com/artical/opr/t001/e1694%5B%5D>.