Addie Wilkins Jackson

Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biography of Addie Wilkins Jackson, 1875-1938

By Emma Rose Kantor, undergraduate student, Harvard College

Financial secretary, Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs; President, Westchester Federation of Women's Clubs; President, Colored Community Center in Tarrytown;


Addie Jackson was born Addie Wilkins in 1875 in Petersburg, Virginia to James and Katherine Wilkins. She grew up with two brothers, William and John. When she was still a young child, the Wilkins family moved to Tarrytown, NY, a suburb of New York City.

In 1893, at age 18, Addie Wilkins married Clarence Jackson, a founder of Shiloh Baptist Church in Tarrytown, Superintendent of the Sunday school there, and the personal assistant of the president of New York Central Railroad.

Addie and Clarence had two sons--Wesley and Clarence Jr.--and three daughters--Dorah (who died at 15), Virginia, and Marie. Addie Jackson was exceptionally close with her sister-in-law Beatrice Jackson, and the two were involved in a number of the same political causes.

Jackson was active in local Women's organizations throughout her life. Her most prominent involvement was with the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, founded in 1908 to empower women and children in New York State. In 1913, Jackson was elected financial secretary, and that same year the Federation voted to go on record as in favor of suffrage and against female smokers and chewing gum. In 1925, Jackson was instrumental in planning the Federation's first mid-winter conference. She served as financial secretary until 1920, when she continued to be involved as an elected organizer. Her involvement did not stop there. Jackson served as President for the Westchester Federation of Women's Clubs, a subset of the larger state federation


(Clockwise from top left) Marie, Addie,
Beatrice, Virginia, and Clarence Jacokson, Jr.

Jackson was also an engaged political activist in Tarrytown. She served as Chair of Tarrytown's Colored Republican Club and as a member of the Women's Republican Club of Westchester County. She organized forums for people in Westchester to come together and discuss national politics during the Coolidge and Hoover administrations. She was also involved in local public service, including serving as president of the Tarrytown Community Center.

Jackson's religious dedication was evident throughout her life. In addition to Shiloh Baptist Church, she was involved with the Bethel A.M.E. Church, where she participated in community gatherings and performed dramatic readings. In 1930, she received a certificate of merit from the Religious Educational School in Tarrytown for her lecture, "How to Understand Boys and Girls."

Jackson was a founding member of the Eighth Ruth Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic fraternity open to men and women. She served as the first matron of the scripture-focused club.

For most of her marriage, she and Clarence Jackson lived at 35 North Washington Street in Tarrytown. In February of 1929, the Jacksons sold their home on North Washington for $25,000.

On December 7, 1938, Addie Jackson died of a heart attack at the age of 63. Her obituary in the New York Age said, "Throughout her life she was interested in the welfare of the race and was ever ready to aid those who were in trouble."


Clarence and Addie Jackson


"Church Activities in Greater New York." New York Age, 28 July 1928.

"Died: William Wesley Winfield." New York Age, 19 June 1920.

"Eleventh Annual Convention of Empire State Federation ... Mrs. Lawton is Re-elected." New York Age, 19 July 1919.

"Empire State Federation: Letter to the Editor." New York Age, 20 July 1916.

"Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs Holds 1st Midwinter Conference." New York Age, 12 December 1925.

"Female Smokers Are Criticized." New York Age, 10 July 1913.

Glass, Roger. "Momma Addie: Activist, Organizer, Spokesperson.", 24 March 2016,

Glass, Roger. "Momma Addie: The central figure in my family's history.", 28 February 2016,

The Historical Society, Inc. Images of America: Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Arcadia Publishing, 1997, p. 125

"More About Mary Talbert." New York Age, 18 October 1923.

"Old Time 'Sing' Fitting Wind-Up for Rotary Day." The Ithaca Journal, 15 July 1920.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 19 February 1914.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 8 July 1915.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 20 March 1926.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 27 February 1926.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 2 November 1929.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 6 April 1929.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 9 February 1929.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 1 March 1930.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 30 August 1930.

"Out of Town Correspondence." New York Age, 17 December 1938.

"Ten New Clubs are Formed." New York Age, 12 July 1917.

"Women Meet in New York." New York Age, 13 July 1918.

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