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A Lost Decade of Ellen Garrison’s Life Uncovered

In the process of researching the Robbins house family tree for an exhibit, the New England Historic Genealogical Society drew our attention to a line in a 2017 thesis about women teachers in post-bellum Southern black schools by Christina Lenore Davis, University of Georgia. Davis says that Ellen Garrison Jackson “…also taught in Hillsborough, and Greensboro, North Carolina, as an employee of the Freedmen’s Friends Association beginning in 1873.” We knew that Concord’s civil rights activist taught in Freedmen’s schools in Maryland and Virginia from 1865-1869, and found her living with her brother John in Concord on the 1870 census. A wide gap opened up for us between 1870 and her move to Kansas in 1879 to teach Exodusters. We’ll finally be able to fill in this gap with Ellen’s time teaching newly freed blacks in North Carolina once libraries and archives open again.

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