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Martha Bailey Briggs

Born in 1838 to Black abolitionists, Martha Bailey Briggs (1838-1889) realized at a young age that education was essential to ending slavery.

Elizabeth Carter Brooks

Equality was the vision of Elizabeth Carter Brooks (1867-1951) in her work as educator, social activist and architect.

Martha Bush Gray

Known as the “Mother of the 54th,” Martha Bush Gray was an African American Civil War nurse who served the troops of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments in the South.

Rosamond Guinn

The first African American woman to become a registered pharmacist in southeastern Massachusetts, Rosamond Alice Guinn (1892-1923) graduated from New Bedford High School and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

Jennie Horne

The War on Poverty initiatives of the 1960s had a dedicated New Bedford foot soldier in Jennie Horne (1920-1998).

Harriet Jacobs

Writer, abolitionist and educator, Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897) is the only African American woman known to have left writing documenting her enslavement.

Mary J. “Polly” Johnson

Confectioner and abolitionist Polly Johnson (1784-1871) specialized in sweets and provided safe lodging to freedom seekers in New Bedford along the Underground Railroad.

Mary Hudson Onley

Pioneering educator and community activist Mary Hudson Onley (1889-1980) was one of the first African American graduates of Bridgewater State Normal School in 1912.

Amelia Piper

Abolitionist Amelia Piper (1796-1856), as one of the managers of the New Bedford Female Union Society, organized one of the first anti-slavery fairs in New Bedford held on January 1, 1840.

Charlotte White

Charlotte White (1775?-1861), born to a Wampanoag Native American and a former slave, connected with the Native American and African American communities, worked for poor relief, and practiced folk medicine and midwifery during her lifetime in Westport.
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