Sarah Jane Woodson Early

Sarah Jane Woodson Early

Sarah Jane Woodson Early

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Sarah Jane Woodson Early, born Sarah Jane Woodson (November 15, 1825 - August 1907), was an American educator, black nationalist, temperance activist and author. A graduate of Oberlin College, she was hired at Wilberforce College as the first African-American woman college instructor. She also taught for many years in community schools and was principal in four cities after moving to Tennessee with her minister husband. Early served as national superintendent (1888–1892) of the black division of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and gave more than 100 lectures across five states. She wrote a biography of her husband and his rise from slavery that is included among postwar slave narratives.

Early life and education

Sarah Jane Woodson, the fifth daughter and youngest child of eleven of Jemima (Riddle) and Thomas C. Woodson (1790–1879), was born in Chillicothe, Ohio on November 15, 1825. Her parents had moved to Ohio in 1820 from Virginia after Thomas purchased the freedom of his family and him from slavery. They founded the first black Methodist church west of the Alleghenies. In 1830 the Woodsons were among founders of a separate black farming community called Berlin Crossroads, since defunct. The nearly two dozen families by 1840 established their own school, stores and churches. Her father and some brothers became black nationalists, which influenced Sarah Woodson's activities as an adult.<ref...
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