MARY ANN SHADD CARY’S HERSTORY IN THE COLORED CONVENTIONS
Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s family tree is brimming with relatives who were as dedicated to the enfranchisement and uplift of the race as much as they were to their individual success, particularly in education and entrepreneurship. If we look only to the Colored Conventions archives we can easily locate the names of several of Shadd Cary’s male relatives, and accounts of their accomplishments in politics, activism, and business. However, the extensive genealogical work of Jane Rhodes reveals that her family tree also holds a number of remarkable women. Among her fore-mothers were skilled businesswomen of the hospitality industry, whose labor (like the women boardinghouse owners) made it possible to publicly engage in Black social life with dignity. Her earliest know fore-mother, Betty Jackson. owned and ran a tea shop in Wilmington, DE, which served as one of few public places serving both white and Black customers equally. Her grandmother Amelia’s dessert stand was very successful, in part due to her sister-in-law Sallie Shadd, whose famous ice cream made its way to the White House via First Lady Dolley Madison. And Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s sisters, cousins, and daughter were masterful educators, and some played important roles in supporting her newspaper The Provincial Freeman.The Shadd-Cary family tree below also shows the many relatives who attended Colored Conventions, indicated by their green coloring- hover over the map to find the zoom button (+). For more information, including links to biographical pages produced for other exhibits, please review this page’s citations at the bottom.
Rhodes, Jane. Mary Ann Shadd Cary: the Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1998.
“Mary Ann (Shadd) Cary.” US Black Heritage Project, WikiTree. December 4, 2020. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Shadd-3 (accessed Dec 10, 2020).