[Panel 1:] Mary Ann Shadd Cary House
Has been designated a
National Historic Landmark
This site possesses national significance
In commemorating the history of the
United States of America.
An African American renaissance woman, abolitionist, educator, editor, military recruitment officer, woman suffragist, lawyer, and mother, Mary Ann Shadd Cary lived at his residence from 1881-1886. Her life is distinguished by her dedication to freedom, equality, and the advancement of her people.
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior[Panel 2:]
Mary Ann Shadd Cary Residence
When the lists of African American "firsts" are read, Mary Ann Shadd Cary's name is everywhere. Born in Delaware to a free Black abolitionist family, Cary (1823-1893) moved to Canada in 1850 and ran a racially integrated school. Her anti-slavery newspaper made her the first Black female editor and publisher in North America. Moving to Washington after the Civil War, Cary enrolled in Howard University Law School as one of the nation's first Black female law students, and she also taught school here. She challenged the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and won the right to vote in federal elections, a right not granted to women in general until 1920.
[Photo caption:] Lawyer, abolitionist, suffragist, and publisher, Mary Ann Shadd Cary: "You have a right to your freedom and to every other privilege connected with it."
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.