Born Ida Alexander on November 16, 1862 in Victoria, British Columbia to Colored Convention Movement activist Mifflin Wistar Gibbs and Maria Alexander (Oberlin College graduate), Ida Alexander Gibbs began her life in British Columbia because her father Mifflin Gibbs saw what would become British Columbia as a great opportunity to gain financial wealth from the nascent gold rush in the Fraser Valley Region.1 She eventually migrated to her mother’s alma mater, Oberlin College, where she would graduate with the first of her two degrees in English in 1884, where she was classmates with Black feminist writer and thinker Mary Church Terrell, and 1892 respectively.2 Gibbs used her degrees to teach both at M Street High School in Washington D.C. and Florida A&M College before marrying a younger colleague of her father’s career diplomat William Henry Hunt.3 As a career diplomat, Hunt and Gibbs traveled the globe to places like Madagascar, Liberia, Guadeloupe, and others. Their travels were not simply for travels sake. Gibbs was also politically active. She maintained a connection to civil rights activism which led her to be the assistant secretary for the Second Pan-African Congress in Paris in 1919. After leading a long and active activist life that took her around the world, she later died in Washington D.C. on December 19, 1959.4 


  1.  Carter G. Woodson, “THE GIBBS FAMILY.” Negro History Bulletin 11, no. 1 (1947): 3-4.
  2. Addendum to the “Catalogue and Record of Colored Students”, 1862-1899, Oberlin College Archives.
  3. C. Heung, (2008, June 23) Ida Alexander Gibbs Hunt (1862-1957). Retrieved from 
  4. Ibid.