History Remembered: A brief look at the early women of leadership at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University)

History Remembered: A brief look at the early women of leadership at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University)

Below is a brief look at a few of the women in leadership at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) as the newspapers presented them.

Also, a brief looked at Booker T. Washington’s 1907 view on women in business as entrepreneurs.

 

1884 -Olivia A. Davidson
Olivia A. Davidson was born free on June 11, 1854, in Mercer County, Virginia, now Mercer County, West Virginia. The family later moved to Ohio where she gained formal education. In 1870, at the age of 16, Davidson began teaching in Ohio, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. She later attended Hampton Institute where she graduated in 1879. She attended the State Normal School at Framingham, Massachusetts (now Framingham State University) where she earned another degree 1881, the same year Tuskegee Institute was founded. After graduating she taught in the Worcester Public Schools. She returned to Hampton to teach Native Americans.
Booker T. Washington asking Davidson to help him develop the new Tuskegee Institute and she joined him on August 25, 1881 as a teacher and vice principal of the institution.
On August 11, 1886 she married Booker T. Washington as his second wife. She died on May 9, 1889, at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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1884 – Fannie N. Smith Washington
Born sometime in the year of 1858 in what is now Malden, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Fannie graduated from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in 1882, where Booker T. Washington was also a graduate. After Fannie’s graduation she and Booker T. Washington were married in 1882. The couple moved to Tuskegee, Alabama, where Booker T. Washington had accepted the position as the founding principal of a new normal school in Tuskegee, founded by another African American and entrepreneur named Lewis Adams. Fannie immediately joined the faculty of what would later be renamed Tuskegee Institute and developed the curriculum for female students.

1885

1889 – Olivia Davidson Washington 

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1895 – Margaret James Murray Washington
Margaret Murray was born in Macon, Mississippi. Murray enrolled in Fisk University, where she completed the college preparatory course and college. She met Booker T. Washington while she was at Fisk University.
Washington asked her to take over the position of Lady Principal, formerly held by his deceased second wife. She married Booker T. Washington in 1893. After the death of Booker T. Washington in 1915, she continued her worked to improve the educational system for African Americans. In 1895 a large group of African American women formed the National Federation of Afro-American Women, and Margaret Murray was elected the president.

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1900 – Josephine Wilson Bruce

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1920 – Margaret Murray Washington
In 1920 a National Association of Colored Women Conference was held at Tuskegee

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1920 – Margaret Murray Washington

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1925 – Margaret Murray Washington

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Booker T. Washington’s 1907 view of men and woman in business entrepreneurship

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Historical Remembrance: The founder of Tuskegee University – Lewis Adams

Historical Flashback: Enslavement life in Tuskegee, Alabama before the existence of the famous Tuskegee University

Click here to view: The story of how the state of Alabama aimed to take control over Tuskegee University

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