NF Cary, Mary Ann Shadd


Lieutenant General
- ★★★ -
Managing Member & Webmaster
Apr 1, 1999
Martinsburg, WV
Mary Ann Shadd Cary

A Woman of Many Accomplishments

Mary Ann Shadd Cary was the first African American woman publisher in North America, just one of many of her remarkable accomplishments, which included recruiting volunteers for service during the Civil War. Born in 1823, Shadd’s family was active with the Underground Railroad and in 1848, when Frederick Douglass asked readers in his newspaper, “The North Star,” to offer their suggestions on what could be done to improve life for African Americans, Shadd Cary wrote to him to say, "We should do more and talk less.” Douglass published her letter. When the Fugitive Slave Law was passed in 1850, Shadd Cary and her brother Isaac Shadd moved to Canada. In 1853, Shadd founded an anti-slavery paper, called "The Provincial Freeman." During the Civil War, at the behest of abolitionist Martin Delany, Shadd Cary served as a recruiting officer to enlist black volunteers for the Union Army in the state of Indiana. After the Civil War, Shadd Cary taught in public schools for more than 15 years. She then attended Howard University School of Law and graduated at the age of 60 in 1883, becoming only the second black woman in the United States to earn a law degree. Shadd Cary died in Washington, D.C., on June 5, 1893, from stomach cancer.