- A Brief Introduction to the Movement
- To Stay or To Go?: The National Emigration Convention of 1854
- The 1853 Manual Labor College Initiative
- Bishop Henry McNeal Turner
- Mobility, Migration, and the 1855 Philadelphia National Convention
- Henry Highland Garnet's "Address"
- What Did They Eat? Where Did They Stay?
- Black Wealth and the 1843 Convention
- Black Women's Economic Power
- The First National Convention
- The "Conventions" of the Conventions: Political Rituals
- A National Press? The 1847 National Convention and the North Star
- Equality Before the Law: California Black Convention Activism, 1855-65
- Conflict on the Ohio: The 1858 Convention in Cincinnati
- The Post-Bellum Conventions Movement and the Emigration Debate
- Conventions by City
- National Conventions
- Women Delegates
- Women in the Conventions
- Convention Hosts by Denomination
- Conventions by Level
- Clusters of Conventions
- Colored Conventions in Canada
- Women in the Conventions | March 8, 2017
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Sarah Curtis was a confectioner at a bakery on South Front Street. It is unclear whether or not she was indentured. She was married to Lewis Curtis who worked as a shoemaker. The 1850 United States Federal Census lists both Sarah and Lewis as “Persons over 20 years of age who cannot read & write.” The Curtises were born at the turn of the nineteenth century in Virginia, a state that only offered free education for African Americans after the Civil War. They must have moved to Philadelphia, knowing that their children would have better opportunities in the city, home to one of the largest populations of free Blacks in the nineteenth century.
The 1830s conventions focused on the necessity of education and its role in racial uplift. African American parents were willing to work long hours, knowing that their efforts would yield better opportunities for their children. Although the Curtises were deprived of schooling, their sons, George and William, were not. At a young age, the two children were listed as literate, which indicates that their parents invested in their sons' education. George Curtis worked as a coachman for at least two decades. He married Isabella, a free woman born in Pennsylvania, and had two children, whom he also sent to school.
To learn more about education reform in the Colored Convention movement, click here.