Shirley Yee

Independent Historian

Shirley J. Yee is Associate Professor of Women Studies at the University of Washington. Yee earned her Ph.D. at Ohio State University in 1987 and is the author of Black Women Abolitionists: A Study in Activism, 1828-1860 (University of Tennessee Press, 1992) and “Black Women as Community Builders,” Canadian Historical Review.

John Mercer Langston (1829-1897)

John Mercer Langston, the youngest of four children, was born a free black in Louisa County, Virginia in 1829. Langston gained distinction as an abolitionist, politician, and attorney.  Despite the prominence of his slaveowner father, Ralph Quarles, Langston took his surname from his mother, Lucy Langston, an emancipated slave of Indian and … Read MoreJohn Mercer Langston (1829-1897)

National Negro Convention Movement (1831-1864)

After more than a decade of organized abolition among northern free blacks, a group of prominent free African American men organized the National Negro Convention Movement.  The convention movement among northern free blacks symbolized the growth of a black activist network by the mid-nineteenth century.  … Read MoreNational Negro Convention Movement (1831-1864)

Lott Carey (Cary) (1780-1828)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Born into slavery in Charles City County, Virginia, Lott Carey (sometimes spelled “Cary”) was one of the first African American Baptist missionaries to preach and work in Africa.  Although Carey may have received Christian teachings from his father, a respected member … Read MoreLott Carey (Cary) (1780-1828)

Free African Society of Philadelphia (1787- ?)

In 1787, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, prominent black ministers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed the Free African Society (FAS) of Philadelphia, a mutual aid and religious organization. Allen and Jones envisioned the Society as the foundation of an interdenominational church for the city’s free black … Read MoreFree African Society of Philadelphia (1787- ?)

The New York African Society for Mutual Relief (1808-1860)

Location of the New York Free African Society in New York City, ca. 1820 Image Ownership: Public Domain Founded in 1808, the New York African Society for Mutual Relief (NYASMR) was the leading antebellum secular charitable and cooperative organization designed to serve the everyday needs … Read MoreThe New York African Society for Mutual Relief (1808-1860)