The Colored Home

 

The National Colored Home had its origins in the Civil War, and was a response to the crisis of orphaned refugee slaves in Washington. The Home was established at Burleith, the confiscated house of a Treasury Department official who had left Washington to serve in the Confederate government, and was managed by committees of Northern women. After the Civil War the Home moved to the Freedmen’s Bureau Subdivision, near Howard University.

 

 

The National Home for Destitute Colored Women and Children, at Burleith, 1864.  (Detail of a view of the Signal Camp of Instruction, Red Hill, Georgetown D.C.,  Carlisle Military Institute)

 

 

The Founding of the Colored Home

 

“Some 25 or 30 contrabands came across the Potomac and through Georgetown to this city yesterday. Most of them were women and young children, and the sight was one to excite the sympathy of the lookers-on at their apparently helpless condition.” “Contrabands” was the name given to fugitive slaves from Virginia and Maryland who entered the District of Columbia by the thousands during the Civil War. They took up residence in shanties and in makeshift camps. By one estimate, perhaps a third of the contrabands in the District died between 1862 and 1866. (Evening Star, February 13, 1862; Constance Green, Secret City, p.81)

To feed and shelter the most needy of these people was to be the mission of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. “On the 31st of January, 1863, an association of ladies was formed for the purpose of founding at the National Capital an asylum for the freed orphans and destitute aged women, whom the onward march of freedom has left to the care of the benevolent.”

The National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children was incorporated by Congress on February 14, 1863 for the purpose of supporting “aged or indigent colored women and children”; “said society may receive… any destitute child or children at the request of the parents or guardians, or next friend or mother, if the father be dead, or has abandoned his family, or does not provide for their support, or is an habitual drunkard”. The association was to be put in possession of a house and grounds confiscated by the government. The National Freedman’s Relief Association of New York pledged one thousand dollars. Temporary buildings––”dining-room, laundry, school-room, and dormitory––in the form of barracks”––needed to be erected. (First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1864, Washingtoniana, Martin Luther King Library)

Key figures in the founding of an orphanage for Contrabands appear to have been Gulielma Breed and her husband, Dr. Daniel Breed, both Quakers. Gulielma Breed brought the dire situation of the contraband children to the attention of her friend, the wife of Senator Pomeroy of Kansas. In January 1863 Lucy Pomeroy, who had experience in relief work, became the first president of “our Orphan Asylum movement”. Dr. Breed having identified a property suitable to their purpose, he and Lucy Pomeroy then persuaded the Secretary of War to issue the necessary orders. (It seems to have been Dr. Breed who looked beyond the immediate crisis, and brought in Emma Brown as a teacher for the children. Brown had been a student in Myrtilla Miner’s School for Free Colored Girls in Washington, and was a graduate of Oberlin College.) (Rebekah W. Pomeroy Bulkley, Memoir of Mrs. Lucy Gaylord Pomeroy, Wife of Hon. S.C. Pomeroy, Kansas, by his Sister, 1865, Library of Congress; Linus Pierpont Brockett, Woman’s Work in the Civil War, 1867)

In addition to Dr. Breed, George E. Baker and Sayles J. Bowen were named as trustees. George Ellis Baker (1816-1887) of New York was private secretary to William H. Seward. Sayles Jenks Bowen (1813–1896) of New York, a founder of the Republican Party, was appointed Police Commissioner for the District of Columbia by Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and D.C. postmaster in 1863. (After the war, Bowen, a supporter of black civil rights, was mayor of Washington from 1868 to 1870, and––along with his associate, Dr. Breed––Trustee of Colored Schools for Washington and Georgetown.)

On June 1, 1863, sixty-four former slaves, most of them children, took up residence at Burleith. The house overlooking Georgetown had been confiscated by the government, and turned over to Dr. Breed, because its owner had left a loyal district to join the Confederate government.  (Evening Star, February 13, 1862; April 3, 1863; May 29, 1863; January 20, 1865; November 11, 1865)

 

In 1864 the association remembered two of its founders who did not live to see the realization of their dream. One was Frances Lewis Potter, the wife of Rep. John Fox Potter of Wisconsin, who “died in consequence of fever taken in the hospitals while nursing the soldiers during the civil war.” The other was Lucy Gaylord Pomeroy of Massachusetts, a fervent missionary and abolitionist who was the wife of Sen. Samuel C. Pomeroy of Kansas. Despite fragile health she went west to settle Kansas as a free State, and in the famine year of 1860, transformed her home into a distribution center. In 1863 she was the first president of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. When the time came to receive the keys of the Cox house on Georgetown Heights, Pomeroy was too ill to attend, and died a few weeks later. 

There were with us in the beginning two leading minds, especially distinguished by unselfish devotion to this holy cause. Mrs. Potter, of Wisconsin, and Mrs. Pomeroy, of Kansas, two of the originators of this enterprise, have passed from works to rewards. Mrs. Potter left us early, but not until the good work, in its starting, had felt the impetus of her earnest spirit. The loss of our President, Mrs. Pomeroy, we have great reason to deplore. The home has justly been called her monument. Declining the rest and change she needed, she remained with us during the summer’s heat to aid in our work, still laboring with us even when life was waning, and her parting spirit sent us back a blessing, with the prophet words, “The Home will succeed.” The cause for which such a life was given cannot want laborers. We remember her words, “‘Tis for a race––for millions we are working. Let us forget ourselves.”  (National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1898, vol.8, p.236; Linus Pierpont Brockett, Woman’s Work in the Civil War, 1867; First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1864)


 

 

First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1864  (Washingtoniana, Martin Luther King Library)

 

 

First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1864  (Washingtoniana, Martin Luther King Library)

 

 

 

 

The House of the Good Shepherd, seen from Reservoir Road, circa 1898.  The building at the left, which was used by the institution as a laundry, may be Richard S. Cox’s “Burleith”, which had served as the National Colored Home during the Civil War.  (Senate Report on Charities, 1898)

 

 

Maria Mann

The teacher hired to instruct the inmates of the Colored Home was Maria Rebecca Mann. Mann, born in Mendon, Massachusetts, on September 4, 1817, was an early graduate of Bridgewater Normal School––the first state-funded school in the United States established specifically to train future public school teachers––and went on to teach school in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

The early days of the Civil War found Mann in St. Louis, working with the Western Sanitary Commission; its primary mission had been expanded beyond nursing soldiers to encompass the plight of the contrabands, runaway slaves seeking the protection of the Union army. Late in 1862 she was sent to the military post in Helena, Arkansas, where the situation was reported to be dire. Demoralized by camp life, and abused by callous Federal officers, some runaways returned to slavery, or were reduced to prostitution. Mortality in one month was fifty percent, and the dead, too numerous for decent burial, were put in common graves, with horses and mules.

Maria Mann’s attempts to improve the lot of the living were hampered by cultural incomprehension. Her admonishment to be frugal with the donated articles of clothing that she distributed to them, for example, flew in the face of the freedmen’s practice of burying their dead in the best clothes available, even if the living had to do without.

Mann’s frustration is reflected in her letters; if she was to continue in relief work it would need to be “an agreeable position with the freedom I should need to be truly useful.” Perhaps she could be put in charge of a settlement of freedmen on a plantation that had been abandoned by its owners? If there were a city nearby, she would then have occasional access to intellectual and social stimulation. (Mann Papers, Antioch College Library, and Massachusetts Historical Society; Archives, Bridgewater State College)

As it happens, Mann had an aunt who knew of just such a position. Lydia Mann, superintendent of the Colored Female Orphan Asylum in Providence, Rhode Island, had been consulted recently by the wife of Dr. Daniel Breed, of Washington, a key figure in the founding of the Colored Home. Although Burleith was not a plantation, and the freedmen were mainly children, it was in a large city, and far from the horrors of Helena, Arkansas. (Lydia Mann: Annual Reports of the Providence Association for the Benefit of Colored Children, 1852, 1854, 1868)

 

“In September our present teacher, Miss Maria Mann, entered upon duty at the Home, and since then the progress of the children has been highly satisfactory, all evincing docility, intelligence, and aptness to learn. We have now I attendance thirty-seven pupils.” (First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1864)

 

The first task Maria Mann took on in connection with the National Colored Home for Destitute Women and Children was to solicit donations to build and furnish a class room, a dining room, and a laundry, and to turn the Burleith carriage house into a dormitory for upwards of sixty children. Mann’s family was not wealthy, but influential. She was the niece of Horace Mann, anti-slavery congressman from Massachusetts, and “Father of American Education”. Horace Mann’s widow Mary Mann was part of the Concord circle of Transcendentalists. Mary Mann’s sister, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, had once been assistant to educational reformer Bronson Alcott; in 1860 she opened the first American Kindergarten. Together, Maria Mann’s aunts now used their philanthropic and educational connections to promote the new National Colored Home in Washington as a model asylum and school for freed slaves.

 

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, 1804-1894

 

Lucy Colman, 1818-1906

 

Jane Swisshelm, 1815-1884

 

 

Controversy

In the view of Mary Mann and Elizabeth Peabody, proponents of all forms of educational reform, their niece, Maria Mann, although hired to be a teacher, was clearly the head of the new institution. This put her at odds with the matron of the home, who had responsibility for the children when they were not in the classroom. As a result, a succession of matrons came and went –– with Mann occasionally filling both positions –– before anti-slavery lecturer Lucy Colman was hired. The new matron declared war.

No clear account remains of Mann’s side of the story, and we have only Colman’s version of what ensued; it is quoted here at length to convey a sense of its tone. “During the year that had passed since the opening of this asylum, there had been three or four women employed as matrons, who had been successively quarreled away by the resident teacher, a woman from Massachusetts, related to, and recommended by, some of the pronounced Liberals in and about Boston. I will not say this woman was the worst woman who ever lived, because I have not seen all the bad women of my own time; but I have no hesitation in putting her at the head of all I have known, in selfish wickedness. A woman who will de­liberately starve, and otherwise abuse, little children, who have no one to care for them, is a monstrosity that I do not wish to be acquainted with.”

“This teacher bore a name honored and beloved in Massachu­setts, and because of her name the Liberals (I mean by Liberals, Unitarians, Agnostics, and the Republicans of Governor Andrew’s stamp), were determined to defend her under all circumstances; and so, if a matron made any complaint of the teacher, instead of looking into the matter, the matron was summarily dismissed. Had I known of the condition of things, I could not have been persuaded to take the place; but having taken it, I determined to change its character, or break it up entirely.”

“I will not tire the reader with a very minute description of these children,– eighty in number, and not ten healthy ones in all, and not one free from the most disgusting parasites. The teacher had been matron a sufficient time to allow them all to become infested with vermin too bad to write about. The dis­cipline was sustained by taking the food from the disobedient, and as there were always children who could not, if they would, conform to some of the rules, because of feebleness, so there was always hunger. One of the farmers whose land joined the asy­lum complained to me that he had not been able to keep food for his swine, only as he put it behind a lock, as these hungry children would devour the contents of his swill-barrel with eager­ness. Mrs. Senator Pomeroy had died, and the woman who took her place was evidently afraid of Massachusetts.”

“After being there three months, the children were all well and clean, but I had broken down in health, and felt that I must give it all up; but I did not cease my work till that teacher was removed. It was a hard fight, with great odds against me,– the prominent Antislavery men in Congress, and the Unitarian minister, the Rev. William Henry Channing, then resident of Washington. Only Secretary Stanton and his assistant, Major Luddington, and the indefatigable woman, Jane Gray Swisshelm, had taken time to examine into the matter, and they were with me. Governor Andrew even sent his secre­tary all the way from Massachusetts to defend this wicked woman.”

“Mrs. Swisshelm finally announced, that unless the whole thing was thoroughly looked into, she would cause the arrest of the teacher for manslaughter; and as it could be easily proven, her (the teacher’s) friends were glad to cease their opposition to the examination, and the private secretary went home, first advising that the teacher leave the institution. It took three months of hard labor, but the woman was removed.”

“After the removal Harriet Tubman was employed a month, to rid the asylum of the filth; but the children were sick and many of them died. Starvation and disgusting parasites had done their work. I think that the most charitable reason that can be given of, or for, that teacher’s conduct, was that she was under the influence of alcohol, of which there was an abundance in the cellar of the building, in the shape of brandy, whisky, and wine. She was certainly crazed with something. I hope her friends have learned enough of her to repent of their defense of her wickedness. This was only one of the many cases where the poor colored people were used to profit some broken-down teacher or clergy­man.” (Lucy Colman, Reminiscences, 1891, pp.61-3)

Mann and Colman were both schoolteachers, both born in Massachusetts in 1817, and both in Washington to work on behalf of the orphans of refugee slaves; but they had little else in common, and Mann’s supporters in Massachu­setts were the objects of Colman’s withering scorn. What is more, Colman’s hostility found a kindred spirit on the Committee of Ways and Means of the Colored Home.

Jane Swisshelm was a well-known journalist, one of the first American women in the profession. An indefatigable agitator––she had informed the world of Daniel Webster’s “mulatto bastard”, and would in a few years insist on Andrew Johnson’s complicity in Lincoln’s assassination––Swisshelm now wrote letters to editors, urging the public not to be seduced by the “perfume of great names” that surrounded the niece of Horace Mann. In Swisshelm’s view “Massachusetts philanthropy” had only donated so handsomely to the Colored Home to provide “one of her favorite daughters with a permanent paying position”.

Swisshelm went further, and published a serialized novel, set in a Washington orphanage for orphans of refugee slaves. The humanity and common sense of its heroine, and those of her allies from beyond the Allegheny Mountains –– proud “western barbarians” –– is opposed by godless Unitarians, Disciplinarians, and Educational Theorists of the great city of “Denton”. It seems safe to say that the novel’s version of the Colored Home controversy was directed to those parts of the Union where all ideas originating in the vicinity of Boston were held in deep suspicion. (“Margaret Merlyn”, The St. Cloud Democrat, courtesy of Sylvia D. Hoffert)

From Boston, Maria Mann’s aunt Elizabeth Palmer Peabody –– who had indeed been secretary to the founder of the Unitarian Church! –– mounted a counter-attack on behalf of her niece. To Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, and to William Cullen Bryant, editor of the New York Evening Post, Peabody wrote to request that no credence be given to Swisshelm’s accusations, and that they not be repeated in their newspapers. (Washington Chronicle, January 11, 1865; Star, January 11, 17, 1865; Elizabeth P. Peabody to William Cullen Bryant, October [ ], 1864, David Rankin Barbee Papers, Georgetown University Special Collections, Antioch College Library, New York Public Library)

At the next annual meeting of the Home, Peabody confirmed that the funds raised in Massachusetts for a new schoolhouse at Burleith had been contributed with the understanding that her niece teach there. Mrs. Gangewer –– one of the founders of the Home and now a leading voice against Mann –– argued that the large contributions with which Mann had been entrusted had given her undue influence for a mere teacher, and had caused her to overstep her authority. The anti-Massachusetts faction, which had packed the meeting with new members, carried the day. (Washington Chronicle, January 11, 1865; Star, January 11, 17, 1865)

 

Allen Gangewer started his career as editor of a German newspaper in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 1851 Gangewer supported the establishment of Myrtilla Miner’s Normal School for Colored Girls in Washington. In 1854 he took charge of an anti-slavery weekly in Ohio. Five years later he became private secretary of Governor Salmon Chase of Ohio. Chase became Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, and Gangewer got a position in the Treasury. Gangewer ran for a seat on the Georgetown Common Council in 1869, but the Republican ticket was defeated. The following year, however, he was successful, and served one year.  (Star, November 11, 1865; Pennsylvania Biographical Encyclopedia, 442-3; George W. William, History Of The Negro Race In America From 1619-1880, 1882, Vol.2, p.199)

Gangewer’s wife, Ann Maria Horton, was the daughter of a Pennsylvania politician. Her charity work in Washington first comes to light as a “lady manager” of the Newsboy’s Home, the predecessor of the Industrial Home School. She was also an officer of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. (Star, April 3, 1863; May 29, 1863)

 

 

 

After leaving the Colored Home, Maria Mann appears to have been briefly active in connection with the Freedmen’s Bureau’s establishment of a school for refugee slaves at Harper’s Ferry. (Letter from M.R. Mann to Maj. Flagg [A. S. Flagg, Superintendent Freedmen’s Bureau], October 9, 1865, Archives of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park)

Maria Mann took her prefabricated “Boston schoolhouse” to 17th and M Streets, NW, with the goal of establishing a Normal School –– a school for training future teachers –– for black children. In the 1867-8 school year its students had the best attendance in the system, and the press noted that it included “several girls who will soon be fitted to act as teachers”. On the Fourth of July, 1868, six young women of No. 9 Normal School (Colored) were awarded prizes. But the school’s days were numbered; in 1871 the re-opened Miner School became the city’s school for training black schoolteachers, while Miss Mann’s one-room schoolhouse had to make way for construction of the Sumner School.

(Mary Mann to Lucy Doolittle, November 4, 1865, Antioch Archives; Freedmen’s Record, May, 1866, p.87; Maria Mann to Henry Barnard, NYU Library; Henry Barnard, Report of the Trustees of Colored School of Washington and Georgetown, 1868, pp.235-7; “Exhibition of the O Street Colored Schools”, Star, 4 July, 1868; Special Report of the Commissioner of Education on the Condition and Improvement of the Public Schools in the District of Columbia, 1871, p. 240; Bernard Nelson, Miner Teachers College 1851-1951, Biography of a School, pp.24-25, 32)

Mann, who had come to Washington because of the Civil War, died there three decades later; she was 77.

 

“Died––On Saturday evening, November 17, 1894, at the residence of Judge William G. Harper, No. 213 E street northwest, Maria Rebecca Mann, born at Mendon, Mass., September 4, 1817. Miss Mann was a niece of Horace Mann, the Massachusetts educator, and was herself a teacher of remarkable ability. She had resided in Washington since 1862. Time of services to be announced Monday morning. Interment at Franklin, Mass.” (Washington Post, November 18, 1894, p.2)

“After the war she made the elevation of the Colored race her life’s work, until incapacitated by deafness and ill health.” (Boston Evening Transcript, December 4, 1894)

 

 

The Colored Home on Eighth Street

 

When the Civil War came to an end Richard S. Cox, the former Confederate paymaster, began a campaign to be restored to his pre-war property in the District of Columbia. On June 30, 1865, at Fairfax Court House, the former Confederate paymaster renewed his allegiance to the Constitution; shortly thereafter he applied for pardon.

“At the quarterly meeting in July [1865], Mr. Baker, one of your Trustees, presented a communication from R.S. Cox, asking the Association to vacate the premises occupied as the Home, in consideration of receiving $1,000. Your Vice-President was advised…to wait upon the Attorney General, and other officers of the Government, to obtain their advice as to the proper course to be pursued. The Attorney General assured her that no pardon would be granted until an arrangement satisfactory to the Association should be effected. On the 19th of the same month the Board received a communication from the Trustees, enclosing a renewal of the offer of Mr. Cox. This was at once refused.” (Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865)

The officers of the Association then addressed themselves directly to President Johnson, emphasizing what they deemed to be the aggravating circumstances of Cox’s case. “Believing that the petition of Richard S. Cox, late of Georgetown, D.C., for pardon, has been presented for your consideration, we beg respectfully to lay before you the following facts: Richard S. Cox, immediately previous to the rebellion, held a clerkship in the office of the Paymaster General of the United States Army. In 1861, when the employees of the Government were required to take the oath of allegiance, he refused, and left for the South without resigning his position. Mr. Cox held also the commission of Colonel of the eighth regiment of the District Militia, having been placed there by Secretary Floyd, just before the inauguration of President Lincoln, in the place of Colonel Cruikshank, a man of undoubted loyalty and respectability. In the rebel service R.S. Cox held the rank of Major until the surrender of General Lee. After the abandonment of his property on Georgetown heights, it was, on representation of the facts, turned over by the Secretary of War to the lady managers of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Since their occupation there has been expended on the premises nearly $3,000, while every care has been taken to keep the property in at least as good condition as when it was placed under the care of the Association. In view of these facts, and also remembering the situation of the capital when Mr. Cox deserted it––his position rendering this peculiarly disgraceful––without the excuse of state allegiance, which has been pleaded by so many––we beg leave earnestly and respectfully to protest against the restoration of this property; and in conclusion, will add, that these statements can be vouched for by parties of undoubted respectability, if required.”  (Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865)

“On the return of your Vice-President [of the Association] in September [1865], an order was obtained from the Attorney General, for the District Attorney to Proceed with the confiscation of this property; but finding much difficulty in obtaining the information required for this purpose, with the advice of the Trustees, the business was placed in the hands of Mr. Riddle, an attorney. On December 4, a notice was sent to the Board from the Freedmen’s Bureau, stating the application of Mr. Cox for pardon was about to be acted upon, and asking if the Association had any further statements to make in the case. Through the influence of persons occupying high positions under Government, the matter was postponed. Thus it stands at present, and we are not without hope that such action will be taken as shall preserve this property for the use to which it has been appropriated.”  (Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865)

The wife of Senator Lyman Trumbull, and two hundred and fifty women of the National Colored Home Association, called at White House with a petition to reject Cox’s application, and to retain at least ten acres of Burleith, and the buildings on it, for the Colored Home. Alternatively, Cox could pay them $10,000 for moving.  (Albany Evening Journal, January 13, 1866)

Despite the best efforts of the Association, Richard S. Cox was pardoned in June, 1866. Foreseeing the inevitable, the Freedmen’s Bureau gave orders for a temporary Colored Home to be constructed on Eighth Street extended, on a lot purchased by the trustees for $2000 in the Freedmen’s Bureau Subdivision; it was expected to be ready by the middle of October, 1866. On December 3––or, by some accounts, December 7––Cox took steps to speed the process, and the inmates of Burleith had to be evacuated to the uncompleted building on Eighth Street. The annual report speaks of “the severe exposure… suffered in our forced Exodus from our Georgetown Home (an Exodus without a Moses, but not without a Pharaoh).”

(Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865 (published 1866); Evening Star, January 15, 1868; Sixth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1869; Report of the Joint Select Committee to Investigate Charities and Reformatory Institutions in the District of Columbia, 1898; Montgomery, Winfield S., Fifty Years, National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1914)

 

 

Extract from the Memorial of the Officers and Managers of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, praying for such action as may secure them from loss in a law suit instituted against them by Richard S. Cox, February, 1867

 

[The Officers and Managers of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children] further say, that after the close of the war, and when it was made apparent that it was meritorious rather than otherwise to have served in the cause of the rebellion, the said Richard S. Cox returned to the District of Columbia, and was readily pardoned by the Executive, and made efforts to secure an order for the restoration of his said property, in which, as the undersigned believe, he failed.

In the mean time, during the year 1866, the association, finding that it had been abandoned by the government, secured a lot in the city of Washington, upon which the freedmen’s bureau erected for its use another house, and it was hoped and expected that it would be ready for occupancy on the first day of October last past, but it was not completed so it could be used.

In the mean time, on the 3d day of December, 1866, and while the association were in full and exclusive possession of the Cox property, and had then at the time four helpless women and sixty-four small children, with all their assistants property and effects on the said premises, and, in the absence of any order of notice of the government to vacate the same, the said Cox managed to steal into said house, and, with his associates and servants, made the same so uncomfortable, by removing the doors and windows, and so unpleasant by with their noise and company, and the courts of the district refusing to protect their possessing, the undersigned were obliged to vacate the same sooner than they otherwise would, and at great inconvenience and discomfort to the helpless ones under their charge.

They further say that not only did the said Cox take possession of the house and furniture, but also of about one hundred bushels of corn raised the present year by the association on said farm; and that afterwards, on the –––– day of December, 1866, he commenced a suit in the supreme court of the District of Columbia against the association to recover $10,000 damages for the possession of said property, &c.

And, inasmuch as the undersigned are without the means of defending an expensive lawsuit; and in the event of an adverse judgment their present home might be liable to seizure on execution; and as they depend wholly upon the donations of the charitable; and as they believe the objects of their association and the manner of pursuing them must commend them and their cause to the consideration of the American Congress, they respectfully ask of your body such action as may secure them from loss and protect their pursuits.

 

(Index to the Miscellaneous Documents of the Senate of the United States, for the Second Session Thirty-ninth Congress, 1867: Memorial of the Officers and Managers of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, praying for such action as may secure them from loss in a law suit instituted against them by Richard S. Cox, and protect them in their pursuits while carrying on the objects of the association. February 2, 1867.––Referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia, February 6, 1867)

 

 

In the absence of any record of a suit being brought by Cox against the Colored Home, it seems safe to conclude that the case was dropped.

 

From the Sixth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children (1869):

Infancy has been snatched from utter hopelessness, and placed in the shelter of a well ordered nursery. True, to some, it has proved but a gateway to their final rest in the presence of Him who said “Suffer the Little Children (not Little White Children only) to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

In others the flickering spark of life has been fanned into a flame, and their brightening happy faces give promise of an existence which may yet prove a blessing to themselves and others.

Childhood, in its various stages, has been raised from the lowest depth to which humanity can sink––rescued from temptation and sin, and brought within the influence of a christian education. The desired transformation in these cases is painfully slow.

The fallen nature which has not been greatly elevated, even by the humanizing influence of generations of American slavery constantly asserts itself, demanding unwavering faith and inexhaustible patience in those who would do them good. Still, when we contrast what they are, with what they were, when we read the testimonials which come from many of those who have taken these children into their own homes, we feel that our labors on their behalf have not been entirely in vain.

Our Home offers also to the other extreme of life––declining age––a place of rest after years spent in unrequited toils. A refuge, such as was never dreamed of by those who indulged such gloomy forebodings over the probable fate of this class, when emancipation should deprive them of all claims upon their legitimate protectors. Thus the three classes––for whose relief this charity were founded, and has been supported––have, for six years been enjoying its benefits.

Among the appliances of this field of labor none is more deserving of notice than our Home School. Miss Susan Towle (whose salary is paid by the Bangor Freedmen’s Aid Association) has proved herself, though more than three years of service, thoroughly fitted in mind and heart for her position. Those of us who have paid most frequent visits to her pleasant, orderly school-room, are most deeply impressed with this truth. There is one peculiarity of her works which may not be as fully appreciated as it should be, either by ourselves, or by strangers visiting the school. We refer to the fact that, before the most sanguine could look for outward development from her skillful culture, the pupil is removed to another home, and his place supplied by one with whom the work must be begun at the lowest point. We can readily judge how many premium plants a florist could display from borders subjected constantly to such treatment. But even with this drawback, neither the teacher or your committee need blush to have this school compared with any other of its class in the country. The Industrial School, under the care of Mrs. Songu, is also worthy of special notice. Here the children are, for some hours each day, trained to habits of industry, in those branches which will be of most value to them in after life.

In September last, our beloved and respected Matron, Miss Eunice L. Strong, tendered her resignation, to take effect in November following. So deep was her interest in this work, that it was with great reluctance that she turned from her arduous labors to seek the ease and comfort of her northern home. But the severe exposure which she suffered in our forced Exodus from our Georgetown Home (an Exodus without a Moses, but not without a Pharaoh) had so affected her health, that she dared not undertake these labors during another winter. Her place was supplied by the election of Mrs. Olive Freeman, well known to some of your committee as former Matron of the News-boys’ Home. Under her supervision, conjointly with that of Miss Hattie Stickney (our Assistant Matron) the domestic affairs of the Home are conducted in an economical and satisfactory manner.

It gives us pleasure to notice that the colored people of the city are beginning to take some interest in the destitute of their own class. An association has recently been formed in the 7th ward, called the Colored Orphans’ Aid Society, which has already made us a liberal donation, and which promises permanent ant valuable help. As many of this class of our fellow-citizens have, under most disadvantageous circumstances, accumulated property, and by their taxes help to carry forward the educational and other public improvements of our city, they should surely be encouraged in every effort to assist those who have so peculiar a claim upon their sympathies.

 

 

Between 1872 and 1879 the National Colored Home acquired its first black trustees – Dr. Charles Purvis, of Freedmen’s Hospital; Washington hotelier and philanthropist James Wormley; and Frederick Douglass –– and a black member of the board of managers (1884), Mary Robinson Meriwether, a teacher at Preparatory High School for Negro Youth. (In 1892 Meriwether appealed to Congress to continue its support of the Colored Home; she became  president of the association in 1915.)

 

 

The Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children has elected the following officers: Mrs. M.S. Pomeroy, president; Mrs. J.B. Bruce, vice precident; Mrs. H.A. Cook, secretary; Mrs. L.S. Doolittle, treasurer. Board of managers: Mrs. F.T. Baxter, Mrs. E.G. Dole, Mrs. C.L. Grimke, Mrs. A.M. Purvis, Mrs. C.A.S. Hall, Miss Louise Swann, Mrs. M.L. Merriweather, Mrs. J.W. Scudder, Mrs. L. Mann. There are 119 children and seven aged women in the Home.  (“Elections of Officers”, Washington Post, January 15, 1885, p.4)

 

The joint participation of both black and white activists in the cause of the Colored Home was perhaps most vividly exemplified by the case of trustee Dr. Purvis and his wife Anne.

Charles Burleigh Purvis (1842-1929) a black graduate of Oberlin College, served as a military nurse at the contraband hospital at Camp Barker in Washington. In 1865 he joined the Union Army as an acting assistant surgeon, and continued to serve in that capacity until 1869. He went on to become surgeon-in-chief of Freedmen’s Hospital (1881), and president of the medical school faculty of Howard University (1899–1900).

Anne Maria Hathaway was a white schoolteacher from Eastport, Maine who had been sent to Richmond by the New England Freedmen’s Aid Association. In 1869 she was called to Washington to take charge of the National Colored Home as matron, and in 1871 she married Dr. Purvis.

For several years Mrs. Purvis was Secretary of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, and was often appointed to go before the Committee on Appropriations to plead for the means to sustain the Home. (She was also a member of the Woman’s Relief Association of Washington and of the Woman’s Rights Society for the District of Columbia.)

When Anne Purvis died in 1899, the speakers at her memorial services included Helen Appo Cook, Secretary of the Association (and a founding member of the National Association of Colored Women), and Rev. Francis James Grimké. (The Grimkés and the Purvises were related by marriage: Anne Purvis’ mother-in-law was Harriet Forten Purvis; Rev. Grimké’s wife was Charlotte Forten Purvis, who served on the Board of Managers.)

(Memorial Services, Colored Orphans Home, Wash. D.C., for Mrs. [Anne M.] Purvis, Wash. D.C., [May 9,] 1899, African-American Pamphlets, Daniel Murray Pamphlet Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress; U.S. Census, 1860, 1870)

 

 

Memorial Services for Mrs. Anne M. Purvis, Colored Orphans Home, Washington D.C., May 9, 1899.

(Excerpts from the remarks of Mrs. Helen A. Cook)

 

[In the placement of children in foster homes] Mrs. Purvis was never satisfied with a mere assurance that a child would be kindly treated, but she sought every possible guarantee that the school life should be continued; that some opportunity for mental growth should be given.

Too often the visitor sent to examine into their surroundings brought back a report of a boy or girl on a lonely farm, sitting solitary in the kitchen during the long winter evenings, while the family enjoyed the light and warmth of the sitting-room and the pleasure of companionship.

I remember hearing Mrs. Purvis read a letter from a lady in a New England town to whom one of our little girls had been sent. The child had proved worthy and her services were valued. She went to school with the other children and to church with the lady herself, and there her social life ended. The letter suggested that a home in the same neighborhood for another little girl might be sought in order that the two might be company for each other. To some members of the board it seemed a trivial matter; the child was well housed and fed, and it was all that could be expected; but Mrs. Purvis’ ready sympathies enabled her to enter with intense realization into the isolation, the terrible loneliness that would oppress the heart of a child under such circumstances.

She never forgot them, no matter how long they were away, and rejoiced with sincere rejoicing when reports came of their health and general well-being. She was particular about the fashion of their dress. She was always in favor of increasing their privileges and adding to their happiness. She wanted their taste educated by agreeable and beautiful surroundings, and believed in cultivating their self-respect rather than in severe discipline. She acknowledged their manhood, and felt with earnestness their equal right to live, to grow in mental stature, to aspire. With the intuitive perception of childhood, the little ones recognized her as well-wisher, helper, friend.

 

(Excerpts from the remarks of Rev. Francis J. Grimké)

 

She respected the rights of others herself and was always quick to interpose in behalf of those who were wronged. I remember the case of a girl who went West from his Home. News came back that she was being cruelly treated by the woman to whom she had been indentured. At once Mrs. Purvis became interested, wrote the police authorities to have the case investigated, and had the girl sent back. Nothing stirred her more quickly than acts of injustice, especially when committed against those we were weak and defenseless.

She was not only interested in these dear children while they were here, but her loving sympathy followed them even away from here, in the new homes where they were sent; and no one knew better than the children how deeply, profoundly interested she was in them. If anything went wrong with them, they always knew where to write; and so she was constantly hearing from one and another.

 

(Memorial Services, Colored Orphans Home, Wash. D.C., for Mrs. [Anne M.] Purvis, Wash. D.C., [May 9,] 1899, African-American Pamphlets, Daniel Murray Pamphlet Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress)

Complaints of three children who had been maltreated after being bound out to homes in Baltimore and elsewhere were reported to the Association in 1895. (“Cruelty to Little Ones––Association for Relief of Destitute Colored Children So Informed.––One Boy Showed Marks of Whipping On His Back––Committee to Investigate the Cases.”, Washington Times, April 10, 1895, p.1)

 

 

Martha Whiting Pomeroy (the third wife of Senator Pomeroy of Kansas) was president of the Colored Home from 1869 to 1897. The board of the National Colored Home was given its direction by Lucy Doolittle, who joined in 1875, and served there for twenty years.  (Star, January 15, 1868; Montgomery, Winfield S., Fifty Years, National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1914)

Lucy Salisbury Doolittle (1832-1908) had started as a schoolteacher in Castile, N.Y., where she saved her wages to go to Antioch College. A friend of the Horace Mann family, Doolittle was later a disciple of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s Kindergarten movement. She married Myrick H. Doolittle in 1862, and came to Washington in 1863. With funds from the New York National Freedman’s Relief Association she operated an industrial school for women in Georgetown (1864-67). The Doolittles were also involved in the Industrial Home School (for white children), where she was a manager in 1880.

Doolittle advocated for organization of the District of Columbia Board of Guardians, to provide for the care of dependent children (established in 1892), and served on its board for nine years, twice elected its vice-president and three times its president. (Antiochiana, Antioch College Library)

 

“The first annual report of the board of children’s guardians was submitted to Col. John Tracey, superintendant of public charities, yesterday afternoon. The board is composed of Crosby S. Noyes, Miss Harriet Loring, R. Ross Perry, B. Pickering Mann, Simon Wolf, W.J. Miller, John F. Cook, Mrs. Lucy E. Doolittle, and Mrs. Mary L.D. Macfarland.”

“The work of receiving wards commenced July 1, 1893, since which time forty-four waifs have been cared for. Ten of these children were taken from the Industrial Home School, seventeen from the National Colored Home, two from the jail and the workhouse, and seventeen from the courts. Disposition was made of the children as follows: Eleven are in private homes on trial, three are boarding in private families, one is at the Home for Colored Foundlings, three are at St. Ann’s Infant Asylum, fourteen are at the Industrial Home School, and ten are at the National Colored Home.”

“The board expects that the cost of maintaining the dependent children of the District under its system will be much less than the cost under any former system pursued in the District. Free homes are to be substituted so far as possible for boarding institutions, and an effort will be made to secure homes for useful children, where they can pay part of the cost of their maintenance.”

(“Caring For Waifs––The Board of Children’s Guardians Makes Its First Annual Report”, Washington Post, August 23, 1893, p.3)

 

“B. Pickering Mann” was Benjamin Pickman Mann, first president of the Board of Children’s Guardians (1892). Mann was the nephew of Maria Mann––the Home’s first teacher in 1863––and Mann’s wife Louise was a member of the Association (1882-1894) and of the Home’s Board of Managers (1882-1885).

 

 

 

The National Colored Home, 2458 Eighth Street, after the original frame structure, hastily erected in 1866, was replaced.  (Report on Charitable and Reformatory Institutions of the District of Columbia, 1898, pp.126-8.)

 

The last two decades of the 19th century saw a debate between the founders and partisans of orphanages, and a younger generation of activists that advocated the “placing out” of children with foster parents. After 1920, the best thinking favored keeping children in their original families; children temporarily taken in by institutions were to be placed with foster parents at the earliest opportunity; as more children were placed out, institutions could be scaled down. Significantly, the Colored Home appears to have issued its last regular annual report in 1915.

(Julie Berebitsky, “To Raise As Your Own: The Growth of Legal Adoption in Washington”, Journal of the Historical Society of Washington, Spring/Summer 1994; Dr. Winfield Scott Montgomery, Fifty Years of Good Works of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1914, 34 pages, Rare Books and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress; Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, Washington, DC, 1915, Washingtoniana Division, Martin Luther King Library; National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children 2458 Eighth St. NW. Washington, D.C. [undated, 1927?], Washingtoniana Division, Martin Luther King Library)

 

 

 

Post Script, Notes and Sources

 

During the Depression, the Colored Home was obliged to consolidate its operations; circa 1932 its inmates were moved from 2458 Eighth Street to 731-735 Euclid Street, and their former Home––now called “the Banneker Building”––became a D.C. welfare station. In 1938 the District Commissioners solicited bids for construction of Benjamin Banneker Junior High School (now Benjamin Banneker Academic High School) on the site of the old Colored Home.

(“City Welfare Opens Last 2 Relief Stations”, Washington Post, October 14, 1933, p.12; “Proposals”, Washington Post, July 2, 1938, p.X20; “New Banneker Junior High Ready Soon”, Washington Post, September 17, 1939, p.A13)

At its new location on Euclid Street the institution––renamed the Mary Louise Meriwether Home for Children, in honor of its Secretary in this period––soldiered on until 1971, when the nearly bankrupt  Meriwether Home was ordered closed following allegations of inhumane conditions.

(“Children Find a Home at Meriwether”, Washington Post, November 27, 1960, p.B2; “Meriwether Home Retains Cosy Air After 100 Years of Helping Children”, Washington Post, December 9, 1963, p.B1; “D.C. Judge to Close Children’s Home Unless Officials Respond”, Washington Post, January 29, 1971, p.B7; “Children’s Home Gets Reprieve”, Washington Post, January 30, 1971, p.B5; “Judge Shuts Youth Home, Scolds City”, Washington Post, June 22, 1971, p.A1)

Between 1975 and 1998 the Marie Key Day Care Center occupied the premises, but title remained in the name of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children.

In 2003 a representative of the Association donated the property to the Emergence Community Arts Collective. Among the many initiatives of this organization was the rescue of records found at the site, and the posting of  historical material regarding the National Colored Home––including a bibliography, and an index of contributors, subscribers, members, managers, officers and trustees, gleaned from annual reports––and its successor institutions.

 

http://www.ecacollective.org/emergingwomen/resources.html

http://www.ecacollective.org/emergingwomen/contributors_ABC.html#

http://www.ecacollective.org/

 

See also:

http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/things-do-see/merriweather-home-childrenelizabeth-keckly-african-american-heritage-trail

 

 

Bibliography

 

Henry Barnard, Special Report of the Commissioner of Education on the Condition and Improvement of the Public Schools in the District of Columbia, submitted to the Senate June, 1868, and to the House, with additions, June 13, 1870, pp.233-240

Historical Sketches of the Charities and Reformatory Institutions of the District of Columbia, 1898, Senate Report II, Ser.3665, p.127

Report on Charitable and Reformatory Institutions of the District of Columbia, 1898, pp.126-8

Montgomery, Winfield S., Fifty Years of Good Works of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1914 (Library of Congress, Rare Books, HV3181.N32)

Hastings H. Hart, Child Welfare in the District of Columbia, 1924, pp.89-90

George M. Kober, Development of Charitable and Reformatory Institutions in the District of Columbia, 1900-1926, 1927

Fry, Gladys Marie, Activities of the Freedmen’s Aid Societies in the District of Columbia, 1860-1870, (unpublished MA thesis), Dept of History, Howard University, 1954

Gerteis, Louis S., From Contraband to Freedman, Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn., 1973

Horton, Lois, The Development of Federal Policy for Blacks in Washington D.C. after Emancipation, 1977

L. P. Brockett, Woman’s Work in the Civil War, 1867 http://www.genealogycenter.info/military/civilwar/viewpage_womanswork.php?realpage=3410&display=697

Beasley, Maurine Hoffman, First Women Washington Correspondents, George Washington University Washington Studies No. 4

Sylvia D. Hoffert, Jane Grey Swisshelm: An Unconventional Life, 1815-1884, UNC Press Books, 2004;

Margaret Merlyn, a serialized novel in the St. Cloud (Minn.) Democrat (courtesy of Sylvia D. Hoffert)

L.P Brockett, Women’s Work in the Civil War, 1867

Jane Swisshelm, Half A Century, 1880

Lucy Colman, Reminiscences, 1891

R.S. Cox Papers, privately held

 

 

Annual reports in the holdings of Martin Luther King Library’s Washingtoniana Division:

 

 First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Washington, DC: 1864

Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children For 1865.

 Sixth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Washington, DC: 1869

 Fifteenth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, For The Year Ending January 8, 1878. Washington, DC: 1878

 Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Washington, DC: 1883

 Twenty-Second Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children For The Year Ending January 1, 1885. Washington, DC: 1885

 Twenty-Third Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, for the year ending January 1, 1886. Washington, DC: 1886

 Twenty-Ninth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, for the year ending January 1, 1892. Washington, DC: 1892

 Thirtieth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Washington, DC: 1893

 Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Washington, DC: 1903

Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children For The Year 1910. Washington, DC: 1911

Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Washington, DC: 1913

Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. Washington, DC: 1915

 

 

A Note on Burials

 

In the first six months of the Home’s active existence it received sixty-two children (twelve of them infants), and two aged women. There were thirteen deaths. “Several of the children first committed to our care were in a nearly dying state from consumption, scurvy, and chronic diarrhoea. And although we have since endeavored to leave such cases in hospital, the insufficient provision for their care, notwithstanding the kind attentions of the surgeons in charge, has induced us to receive some whom we could hardly hope to save, but could make comparatively comfortable for the brief residue of their child life”.  (First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1864)

In the three years that the National Colored Home occupied the Cox house at Burleith it is quite possible that most of these fatalities were buried on the grounds. However, a record exists showing that, by 1866, at least one elderly inmate of the Home was buried in a Section 27 of Arlington Cemetery, set aside for burial of Contrabands and Freedmen. In 1867, following the move to Eighth Street, there were four more burials at Arlington, all children.

Abram, Rachel, age 70, December 2, 1866: “An aged [Catholic] woman of medium size who died at the Home this morning [December 1, 1866]…” “The people [her relatives] prefer that she be buried as others by the Government.”

Butler, Abraham Lincoln, age 3, July 25, 1867, of “lingering disease”.

Duskins, Flavius, age 7, August 16, 1867, of “scrofulous consumption”.

Mars (Marse), Sandy, age 7, August 22, 1867, of “dropsy”.

Smith, James, age 18 months, June 21, 1867, of “teething”.

(Timothy Dennee, “A District of Columbia Freedmen’s Cemetery in Virginia?;  Arlington’s Section 27”, 38th Annual D.C. Historical Studies Conference)

 

In 1868 six boys, thirteen girls, and three aged women died.

(Sixth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1869)

 

Founders of the National Colored Home 

 

Officers of the Colored Home for 1864

President, Mrs. T. D. Eliot, New Bedford

Vice President, Mrs. A. M. Gangewer, Washington

Treasurer, Mrs. W. R. Johnson, Washington

Secretary, Emily Howland, Washington

 

Board of Managers

Mrs. Henry Wilson, Massachusetts

Mrs. A. H. Gibbons, New York

Miss M. A. Donaldson, Washington

Mrs. Louisa Howells, Washington

Mrs. George E. Baker, Washington

Mrs. C. C. Leighton, Georgetown

Mrs. Frederick T. Brown, Georgetown

Mrs. Anna M. Hooper, Boston

Mrs. Samuel Wilkeson, Washington

 

Trustees

S. J. Bowen

A. M. Gangewer

George E. Baker

 

Administrative Committee

Mrs. L. Howells, Washington

Mrs. Samuel Wilkeson, Washington

Mrs. George E. Baker, Washington

Miss M. A. Donaldson, Washington

 

Investigating Committee

Miss Anna M. Hoope, Boston, Mass.

Mrs. C. C. Leighton, Georgetown

Miss Georgiana Willetts, Washington

 

Committee of Ways and Means

Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Andover, Mass.

Miss Elizabeth Peabody, Boston, Mass.

Miss A. M. Hooper, Boston, Mass.

Mrs. Wm. Endicott, Boston, Mass.

Mrs. Henry Wilson, Massachusetts

Mrs. A. H. Gibbons, New York

Mrs. Eliza Randolph, Philadelphia

Miss Margaret Robinson, Philadelphia

Mrs. Passmore Williamson, New Jersey

Mrs. Benj. F. Wade, Ohio

Mrs. Dawes Elliott, New Bedford, Mass.

Mrs. J. M. S. Williams, Cambridge, Mass.

Mary W. Wells, Hartford, Conn.

Miss E. Bright, Madison, Wis.

Mrs. L. L. Rice, Oberlin, Ohio

Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth, Georgetown

Mrs. John Jolliffe, Washington

Mrs. H. Bridge, Washington

Mrs. Gulielma Breed, Washington

Mrs. H. D. Cooke, Washington

Mrs. Jane G. Swisshelm, Washington

Mrs. Joseph D. Badgly, Albany

Miss Mary McClintock Hunt, Waterloo, N. Y.

Mrs. Sarah M. C. Gardner, Fayetteville, N. Y.

Mrs. H. L. Howland, Sherwood, N. Y.

Rebecca C. Tatham, New York

Ednah D. Thomas, Union Springs, N. Y.

Mary H. Thomas, Union Springs, N. Y.

Mrs. Rev. Dr. R. S. Storrs, Brooklyn, N. Y.

Mrs. C. B. Webster, Norwich, Conn.

 

Life Members

Miss Elizabeth P. Peabody, Boston

Mrs. Hemmenway, Boston

Mrs. R. C. Greenleaf, Boston

Miss A. Wigglesworth, Boston

Mrs. John Cushing, Boston

Mrs. Horace Mann, Concord

Miss Maria R. Mann, Concord

Miss Minot, Boston

Mrs. M. S. Williams, Cambridge, Mass.

Mrs. Wm. Gliddon, Cambridge, Mass.

Mrs. R. G. Shaw, Boston

 

(First Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1864)

 

 

Officers of the Colored Home for 1865

President, Miss Margaret Robinson, Philadelphia

Vice-President, Mrs. M.C. Hart, Washington

Treasurer, Mrs. Germond Crandell, Washington

Secretary, Mrs. W.L. Nicholson, Washington

 

Executive Committee

Mrs. Jas. M. Blanchard, Washington

Mrs. Harriet Underhill, Washington

Mrs. Geo. W. McLellan, Washington

Mrs. S.P. Bliss, Washington

Miss S.P. Searle, Washington

Miss Eliza Heacock, Washington

Mrs. Geo. B. Whiting, Washington

Mrs. Charles Faxon, Georgetown

Mrs. Stephen D. Charles, Georgetown

 

Trustees

Geo. E. Baker

A.M. Gangewer

John Joliffe

 

(Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865)

 

 

Officers of the Colored Home for 1866

President, Mrs. Benjamin F. Wade, Ohio

Vice-President, Mrs. Geo. W. McLellan, Washington

Treasurer. Mrs. Germond Crandell, Washington

Secretary, Miss Eliza Heacock, Washington

 

Executive Committee

Mrs. S.C. Pomeroy, Kansas

Mrs. Lyman Trumbull, Illinois

Mrs. Susan Nelson, Washington

Mrs. Gen. O.O. Howard, Washington

Mrs. Harriet Underhill, Washington,

Mrs. D.N. Cooley, Washington

Miss Louise S. Swan, Strafford, Vermont

Miss D.P. Baker, New York

Mrs. Dr. Parker, Washington

 

Trustees

A.M. Gangewer

S.J. Bowen

Charles King

 

Life Members

Mrs. Daniel Breed, Washington, District of Columbia

Mrs. William H. Seward,       “

Hon. Sayles J. Bowen,             “

Miss Maria Mann, Georgetown, District of Columbia

Mrs. S. Hooper, Boston, Massachusetts

Mrs. T. Jackson,                      “

Mrs. J. M. Forbes,                   “

Mrs. S. Putnam,                       “

Miss E. Peabody,                      “

Mrs. A. Hemmenway,             “

Mrs. R.G. Shaw,                       “

Mrs. Wolcott,                           “

Mrs. R.C. Greenleaf,                “

Mrs. A. Wigglesworth,            “

Mrs. John Cushing,                  “

Dr. L.H. Russell,                       “

Mrs. W.S. Glidden,                   “

Mrs. J.M.S. Williams, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Miss Emily Williams,              “

Miss Mary F. Prentess, Bangor, Maine

Mrs. Horace Mann, Concord, Massachusetts

Mrs. S.C. Pomeroy, Kansas

Mrs. L.K. Lippincott, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mrs. Clarke,                              “

Mrs. Eliza P. Gurney, Burlington, New Jersey

Miss Minot                [no state given]

Mr. Willis Gaylord, New York, New York

Mrs. Willis Gaylord,             ”

 

(Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865)

 

 

Officers of the Colored Home for 1869

President, Mrs S.C. [Martha Whiting] Pomeroy, Kansas

Vice President, Mrs. G.W. McLellan, Washington, D.C.

Treasurer, Mrs. Germond Crandell, Washington, D.C.

Secretary, Mrs. Hiram Pitts, Washington, D.C.

 

Managers

Mrs. O.O. Howard, Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Sella Martin, Washington, D.C.

Mrs. R.M. Bigelow, Washington, D.C.

Mrs. J.M. Blanchard, Washington, D.C.

Mrs, J. Sayles Brown, Washington, D.C.

Mrs. W.F. Bascom, Washington, D.C.

Mrs. W.F. Nilson, Washington, D.C.

Miss Louise S. Swan, Vermont

Miss Susan Walker, Washington, D.C.

 

Trustees

Hon. Sayles J. Bowen

Charles King

George F. McLellan

 

(Sixth Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1869)

 

“The following named ladies are appointed to receive donations.”  (Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865)

 

Donations received in 1865 included:

Five pairs of new woolen stockings, from Elizabeth Nicholson, of Philadelphia.

A box of palm soap, from Colgate & Co., at the request of Mrs. Willis Gaylord, New York.

$50 from Mrs. C.A. Atkinson, Hopedale, Mass., to buy a cow for the Home.

A large Bible, from the Ladies Bible Society, Georgetown, D.C.

$1.50, Miss Mina Breed, of Washington, D.C., for candy.

“Note.––In several boxes were articles of men’s clothing; these were given to Sojourner Truth and Miss Heacock, to use for the Freedmen of the District.”

(Annual Report of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, 1865)

 

 

___________________________________________________________

 Carlton Fletcher

 The citation and acknowledgement of my research is greatly appreciated.

All rights reserved.

 

 Questions and corrections may be directed to

carlton@gloverparkhistory.com

 

The support of the Advisory Neighborhood Council (3B) is gratefully acknowledged.