Biographical Database of Black Woman Suffragists

Biography of Rosetta “Rosa” Clinton Loudin Moorman, 1858-1936


By Ashley Becker, undergraduate student, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Rosetta Clinton, who also went by Rosa, was born on March 18, 1858, to Martin and Nancy Clinton. Before she was born, her father moved from Virginia to escape the racism that was more prominent in the South. In Ohio, he met Nancy, and they had seven children. Rosetta Clinton attended Howard University in the 1870s, but she returned to Zanesville, Ohio, likely prompted by the death of her mother in 1877. Martin Clinton had remarried by 1880.

Rosa Clinton taught school until she married William Henry Loudin on April 22, 1885, in Muskingum County, Ohio, and they moved to Columbus. On May 17, 1894, William Loudin died, leaving Rosa a widow. They had three of five children surviving in 1900. Rosa Loudin remarried to Robert Moorman on July 30, 1896, and he had at least one child from a previous marriage. Robert Moorman was a grocer, and Rosa Moorman worked at his store as a clerk.

Rosa Moorman was the president of the Colored Women's Independent Political League, which was part of the Columbus chapter of the NAACP. The club was originally affiliated with the Republican Party but changed its name after the Beatty Equal Rights bill, which would help grant equal rights and suffrage to women, failed in the lower house of the Ohio legislature in 1919. Disappointed with the lack of support from "the men 'whom we helped elect,'" the Colored Women's League changed its affiliation to Independent as a rejection of those unsupportive of women's rights. By 1928, Moorman had mended her disagreement with the Republican Party: she took her organizational skills back to Zanesville to convince black women voters there to support the party. By 1930, she did the same in Sandusky, giving a speech on the party's behalf.

In addition to women's rights, Rosa Moorman helped raise funds for an institution of refuge for orphans and elderly folk of color in Scioto County. She was also one of three charter members of the Fortnightly Reading Club, frequently hosting meetings in her home. She acted as the president of the Colored Big Sisters of Columbus, fulfilling the role of mistress of ceremonies for their events and writing the reports as the executive secretary for the club. Along with leading multiple organizations, Moorman often held public speeches and addresses throughout the community. She was well-respected: mentions of her in multiple local newspapers praised her for her invaluable service to equal rights movements.

Rosa Moorman died on February 3, 1936, at 77 years old, and she was buried with her husband in Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.


“Columbus, Ohio,” Pittsburgh Courier, February 11, 1928,

“Columbus, Ohio,” Pittsburgh Courier, May 10, 1924,

Find a Grave, Nancy Clinton, September 8, 2009,

Find a Grave, Rosa Moorman, January 10, 2010,

Find a Grave, William Henry Loudin, June 25, 2011,

“Mrs. Moorman Talks to Colored Women,” Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH), October 13, 1928,

“Mrs. Moorman to Speak Here Sunday,” Sandusky Register, October 18, 1930,

Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993, Rosetta C. Clinton, April 22, 1885, Muskingum, OH, Ancestry Library.

Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993, Rosa Loudin, July 30, 1896, Franklin, OH, Ancestry Library.

“Plan a Home for Colored People in Scioto County,” Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH), May 25, 1915,

“Politics,” The Crisis 18, no.3 (July 1919), 154.

Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1999), 103.

“To Organize Colored Women Voters Here,” Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH), October 9, 1928,

United States Census 1870, 1880, s.v. “Rosetta Clinton, Zanesville, OH,” Ancestry Library.

United States Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, s.v. “Rosa Moorman, Columbus, OH,” Ancestry Library.

U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935, Rosetta C. Clinton, Howard University, 1874, Ancestry Library.


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