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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.

Amelia Jones

Philanthropist Amelia Hickling Jones (1849-1935) focused on giving that benefited children.

Laura Keene

Acushnet’s Laura Keene (1826-1873) is best known as an actress who starred in Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater the night President Lincoln was assassinated.

Ellen Kempton

New Bedford’s Ellen Kempton (1840-1865) lost her life while in South Carolina to educate and assist formerly enslaved people.
Alice Howland Macomber

Alice Howland Macomber

Determined to step outside the norms of her era and model daring independence, Alice Howland Macomber (1874-1961) first traveled alone to Europe at the age of 20 stating, “I travel alone and try anything once.” Her popular travel lectures documented all she experienced during her far-flung adventures.

Phebe Hart Mendall

Wedding cakes became the specialty of baker Phebe Hart Mendall (1801-1887), widowed at age 35 when husband Elihu Mendall was lost at sea.

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.
Emma Louise Piper

Emma Louise Piper

Emma Louise Piper (1845-1915) was the first African American teacher in Cambridge, MD after the Civil War. Emma was one of 41 New Bedford men and women, both Black and White, who participated in the efforts to educate the newly freed people.

Annie Holmes Ricketson

Annie Holmes Ricketson (1841-?) accompanied her husband on at least three whaling voyages, chronicled in journal entries filled with details about life as the lone woman aboard ship.

Cara Leland Rogers

Cara Leland Rogers (1867-1939) purchased the waterfront property at Fort Phoenix, presenting it to the town of Fairhaven in memory of her father Henry Huttleston Rogers.
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