- 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
- Douglass Day
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Grace Bustill Douglass
Sarah Mapps Douglass would not be who she was had her mother been any different. Grace Bustill Douglass was a parent, activist, and entrepreneur. The Douglass family belonged to Philadelphia’s Black elite. Grace Douglass made sure her children were educated and committed to racial uplift. Jessie Carney Smith writes that it is because of “their excellent home and education training” that “Sarah and her brother, Robert, became prominent Philadelphia citizens.”1 Grace Bustill Douglass was a member of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, and supported women’s suffrage movement.
As an entrepreneur, Grace Bustill Douglass ran a successful millinery. Milliners hired apprentices, giving young women the opportunity to learn skills to provide for themselves. Grace Douglass passed on her artistry to two of her children. Robert Douglass Jr. became a prolific painter with his own shop, who was active in the emigrationist movement and spent time in Haiti. He also attended the 1855 Colored Convention. Sarah Mapps Douglass also became a talented painter and devoted activist. The Douglass children inherited their mother’s artistry and entrepreneurial and management skills.
Like her father, Cyrus Bustill, Grace Douglass established a school with James Forten. Sarah Mapps Douglass attended the school and, as an adult, opened one of her own. Aston Gonzalez notes that “Robert Douglass Sr. also heralded the cause of black education. . . In 1832 he sat on Philadelphia’s provisional board for the proposed manual labor Collegiate School.”2 Grace Douglass’s educational activism was a family tradition. She died on March 9th, 1842. A long tribute to her memory was published in The Liberator. It extolled her unending devotion to education reform, activism, and Christianity.
1. Shirelle Phelps. Notable Black American Women: Book 2. ed. Jessie Carney Smith. (New York: Gale, 1996), 189.
2. Aston Gonzalez. "The Art of Racial Politics: The Work of Robert Douglass Jr., 1833–46," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 138 (2014): 9. Accessed 21 April 2016.