September 9


September 9, 1806 Sarah Mapps Douglass, abolitionist, teacher and lecturer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Douglass’ family was prosperous and among several free black families who formed the core of Philadelphia’s abolitionist movement. She was educated at home by private tutors. Around 1827, Douglass established a school for black children. In 1837, Douglass served on the ten member committee for the Antislavery Convention of American Women. This was the first national convention of antislavery women to integrate black and white members. Douglass also served as librarian, corresponding secretary, and on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Female Antislavery Society. In 1853, she took over the girls’ preparatory department at the Philadelphia Institute for Colored Youth, offering courses in literature, science, and anatomy. She served at the institute until 1877. During this time, she also acquired basic medical training at the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania and at Pennsylvania Medical University. After the Civil War, Douglass became a leader in the Pennsylvania branch of the American Freedman’s Aid Commission which worked to provide services to the formerly enslaved in the south. Douglass died September 8, 1882.


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