Women’s History~Myrtilla Miner


Myrtilla Miner


Myrtilla Miner, educator, feminist and abolitionist, was born near Brookfield, New York on March 4, 1815. Active in the struggle against slavery, she was a friend of Frederick Douglass, William Henry Channing, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher. In December of 1851 she opened a school in Washington, D.C., for young black women in order to train them as teachers. The school closed in 1860 as the Civil War approached and she died in Washington on December 17, 1864. Douglass described her as “slender, wiry, pale . . . [and] singularly motivated.

m.miner's grave014476

For details on her life and work, see: Myrtilla Miner: a Memoir (1885) by Ellen M O’Connor; Three Who Dared: Prudence Crandall, Margaret Douglass, Myrtilla Miner– Champions of Antebellum Black Education (1984) by Philip S Foner and Josephine F Pacheco.

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