Mary Ann Campbell

Mary Ann Campbell was born in Philadelphia on January 10, 1818.1 Before her marriage to Rev. Jabez P. Campbell in 1855, she was married Joseph Shire, who died in the late 1840s.2 The 1880 Federal Census lists her as a house keeper, however, Mary Ann Campbell’s role extends beyond the private domain.

 


Mary Ann Campbell

"Mary Ann Campbell." Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.

Campbell helped found two schools, a healthcare facility, a home for the aged and infirm, and a women’s religious organization.3  She and Rev. Campbell were also “widely known for their charities and highly respected for their work.”4 Her public engagement is extensive: she co-founded the Women’s Parent Mite Missionary Society in 1874, was the president of the Dorcas Society, a missionary society for the women of the AME church, and served as one of the founders of the Frederick Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia.5 Like many of the Black elite women in Philadelphia, she supported the Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored Persons, Women’s Parent Mite Missionary Society, Wilberforce University, and Jabez Campbell College in Jackson, Mississippi.  This college is now part of Jackson State University.6

Rev. Jabez P. Campbell was outspoken about his opposition against ordination of women in the church, and he deemed their role as that of a supporter. Despite her husband’s convictions, Mary Ann Campbell took every advantage of her position to be at the forefront of charitable and activist efforts. Mary Ann Campbell outlived her husband for more than two decades, living well into the twentieth century to see the fruits of her labor in her community.

Credits

Submitted by Elmer Pineda, Taught by Gabrielle Foreman, University of Delaware, Spring 2013.

Revised and Edited by Samantha de Vera, University of Delaware.

References

[1] “Mary Ann Campbell.” Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 

[2] Larry G. Murphy, J. Gordon Melton, Gary L. Ward. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. (New York, Routledge), 144.

[3] Smith, Jessie Carney. "Book 2." Notable Black American Women :. Detroit: Gale Research, 1996. 80-81. Google Books. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. Link

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] "MS Civil Rights Projects." MS Civil Rights Projects. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. Link