Celebrating Ann Wager and Prudence Crandall

27 Sep

Prudence Crandall

Today is a very wonderful day in history that I feel needs to be celebrated. Ann Wager was the Founding Head of School “Mistress” of  the Bray School in Williamsburg, VA.  The Bray School was created “for the Instruction of Negro Children in the Principles of the Christian Religion.”  Wager opened the school on September 27, 1760, before the United States existed and before the Abolitionist Movement had a strong foundation.

During her 14 years at the Bray School, Wager taught over 30 enslaved and free black children.  Wager died in 1774, just two years before the colonies declared their independence from England.

I also have to tip my hat here to one of my heroes, Prudence Crandall.  Crandall was also a “Mistress” of a school that firmly believed in educating students regardless of race. Upon admitting 17-year-old African-American to her girls’ school, the white families pulled their daughters.  Crandall, a Quaker, was not deterred. She kept her school open and decided she would have a school exclusively for black girls.

Of course, America, not exactly known for our progressive views, imprisoned Crandall in July of 1883, after the state of Connecticut instated  “The Black Law” prohibiting black students from going to school, without a town or state’s permission. Let’s hear it for women like Wager and Crandall who did the right thing regardless of the personal risk. I am honored to have as a friend, Patty Crone, who continues to fight for racial equality and civil rights in education. We need more champions like this today.

7 Responses to “Celebrating Ann Wager and Prudence Crandall”

  1. James Queale September 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    A great woman to be celebrated! I am thankful that in my home country (Canada) we had the underground railroad that allowed slaves to travel to Canada to be free. Though, we did treat natives poorly, but we’ve been trying our best over the last few decades to make it right. Those were sad days then, and even with the reminder of those days, people are still mistreated and in some countries, slavery is still a real thing.

  2. James Queale September 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    I posted a comment hours ago, waited for it to be “moderated”, and now I see that it is gone. So, let’s try this again. Great women to be celebrated! 🙂 Those were sad days, despite those days as a reminder, people continue to treat others poorly. We need more love.

  3. James Queale September 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Now my comment is back after I posted the second one, LOL. They are playing tricks on me! 🙂

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

      Jamie, I’m not sure why the delay. I will check into it.

      • James Queale September 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

        No worries, I just thought it was funny that I posted, I check later and it was gone, so I comment again, and it appears like it was never gone. You have to love technology.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 28, 2011 at 6:06 am #

        I am sorry for the delay though.

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