BLACK WOMEN’S ECONOMIC POWER: VISUALIZING DOMESTIC SPACES IN THE 1830s
DAUGHTERS AND GENTLEWOMEN: THE LATER GENERATION
Many of the daughters of convention delegates and attendees would go on to become prominent residents in Philadelphia. Among Sarah Mapps Douglass‘s friends were Ada Howell Hinton and Martina Dickerson. Frederick Hinton and Eliza Ann Howell’s daughter, Ada Howell Hinton, continued to fight for racial uplift. Both her father and grandfather were Colored Conventions delegates, and because she was raised by her maternal grandparents and her great aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, she was exposed to the Colored Conventions movement’s efforts.
Sarah Mapps Douglass, Ada Howell Hinton, and Martina Dickerson are part of the later generation that continued their parents’ activism and creativity. These elite Black women enjoyed the privilege of being born free and took every advantage of their education to foster an intellectual community. Ada H. Hinton founded a school in Philadelphia in 1849; at the time, Margaretta Forten and Sarah M. Douglass were also running schools.1
Martina Dickerson, Samuel Van Brackle’s stepdaughter, collaborated with Sarah Mapps Douglass, James Forten, John C. Bowers, Robert Douglass Jr., and others to create an album of poetry. Dickerson’s album is material evidence of her and her peers’ erudition. It is symbolic of their collective effort to assert their right to citizenship.
Below are pages from Martina Dickerson’s album. The flower paintings were created by Ada Howell Hinton and Sarah Mapps Douglass. Robert Douglass created the painting on the last page. Images courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Curator: Samantha de Vera, Graduate Student at the University of Delaware and Member of the Colored Conventions Project. Edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman.