Charlotte "Lottie" Henderson


Biographical Database of Black Woman Suffragists

Biography of Charlotte “Lottie” Henderson, 1877-1949


By Reneé Vanish-McLaurin, undergraduate student, Rosemont College, Rosemont, Penn.
and Thomas Dublin, Distinguished professor Emeritus, Binghamton University.

Charlotte "Lottie" A. Baugh was born in Virginia around 1877. Her parents were James and Dinah Baugh, and her much older sister, Alice Baugh Wiley Seay, was also an active suffragist. In the 1880 census for Giles, Virginia Charlotte, 3, was living with her maternal grandparents, Daniel and Jane Miles, and with three siblings. Her likely mother, Dinah, also lived in Giles, with five other children. Lottie attended school through the seventh grade. In October 1899 in Bridgeport, CT she married Eugene L. Henderson, born in North Carolina, a fellow Black migrant to the North. This was likely her second marriage. They lived in 1900 in Bridgeport, where she was a housekeeper and he a day laborer. They had no children living with them at that date, though Lottie was recorded as having given birth to one child earlier, who had likely died.

By 1906 Lottie and her husband were living in Brooklyn, where she served as president of the Auxilium Club. The 1910 census of Brooklyn listed Lottie and Eugene and two children: a daughter, Beatrice, 6, and a son, Eugene, 2. Eugene Sr. worked as a janitor in an insurance firm; Lottie had no occupation. Another child, John, was born in December 1912, though apparently he did not survive. In the Virginia birth record for John, Lottie was recorded as a cook residing in Greenwich, CT. In 1920 and 1930, the Henderson family continued to live in Brooklyn. Eugene was a superintendent in an apartment house in 1920; Lottie was listed as a housekeeper in an apartment house. The children, now 15 and 11, both attended school.

In 1930 the family's economic circumstances had markedly improved. Both children, now 26 and 21, continued to live at home. Eugene Sr. was now a messenger; daughter Beatrice was a public school teacher; and Eugene Jr. was a shipping clerk. Lottie had no occupation.

In July 1906, the New York Age gave credit to Lottie Henderson for extensive involvement in both club and church work. She was recognized as an "efficient president" of the Auxilium club for two terms and had just been selected one of the club's two delegates to the annual meeting of the Northeastern Federation of Women's Clubs scheduled for Providence, RI. She also held the presidency of the Telephone Club, a club she had founded that paid the expenses of phones for the sick and dying through the parishioners of her church, Concord Baptist Church, led by Dr. W.T. Dixon. Henderson was deeply involved in church activities, including participating in the Dorcas Home Missionary Society and contributing to the Pastors' Relief Committee.

The sisters, Lottie Henderson and Alice W. Seay, were both delegates from Brooklyn to the statewide meeting of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs (ESFWC) in July 1913. It was at this meeting that the Federation first approved a formal resolution in favor of woman suffrage. In 1914, Lottie Henderson helped with planning for the Federation's annual meeting at Concord Baptist Church. Henderson was affiliated with the ESFWC through the Dorcas Home Missionary Society as well as through friendships with other notable Concord Baptist Church women, who were also active with the ESFWC. In 1914, the group discussed plans for a Harriet Tubman memorial. This event was a reunion for the New York City delegates at the prior year's meeting as well as Minnie Brown, M.C. Lawton, and Lucretia Freeman. At one point, Henderson served as chair of the executive board of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs.

Henderson continued active in club work in Brooklyn for another two decades. In 1921 she helped raise funds for the kindergarten sponsored by the Lincoln Settlement and the Brooklyn Urban League. An article in Opportunity, the official journal of the Urban League, reported in July 1926 that Mrs. Henderson was elected Chairman of the Executive Board of the ESFWC. Henderson was involved in the Brooklyn Urban League as a board member for three consecutive years, following a reelection in 1930. She was a noted participant of the Protestant Big Sister Council. A meeting of the council was held in December 1935 at Spencer Memorial Presbyterian Church and included many church leaders and highly regarded women of various congregations. Henderson represented the Concord Baptist Church and helped arrange hospitality for the meeting.

During the 1920s, Lottie continued to live in Brooklyn and her sister, Alice Wiley Seay, who had moved back to Amelia County in Virginia, visited her for two weeks in August 1926. She undoubtedly participated in the Brooklyn memorial service held for Alice after she passed away in late 1937. By 1940 she was widowed and lived in Brooklyn as a lodger.

In later years, Lottie Henderson continued to be involved in the Concord Baptist Church and maintained her position as Deaconess. She died in 1949 in Manhattan, at the age of 72.


Lottie Henderson, Brooklyn, New York, ca. 1906.
"Borough of Brooklyn," New York Age (New York, NY), July 26, 1906, p. 7.


“Borough of Brooklyn,” New York Age (New York, NY), July 26, 1906,

“Borough of Brooklyn,” New York Age (New York, NY), September 13, 1906,

"Female Smokers Are Criticised," New York Age (New York, NY), July 10, 1913, p. 1.

"Brooklyn Urban League Notes," New York Age, 2 July 1921, p. 8.

Opportunity, vol. 4 (August 1926), p. 266.

“Brooklyn Mothers Club,” New York Age (New York, NY), June 20, 1931,

“Brooklyn Urban League Elects 1930 Officers,” New York Age (New York, NY), February 8, 1930,

New York, NY, Extracted Death Index, 1949-1965. Lottie Henderson, May 18, 1949, Manhattan, New York, NY. Ancestry Library Ed.

“Protestant Big Sister Council Monthly Meeting Held Yesterday,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY), December 17, 1935,

“Says Colored Folk Should Co-Operate,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY), July 2, 1914,

United States Census 1900, "Eugene and Soffie (Lottie) Henderson, Bridgeport, CT." HeritageQuest.

United States Census 1910, 1920, s.v. “Lottie A. Henderson, Brooklyn, NY.” HeritageQuest.

United States Census 1930, s.v. “Charlotte Henderson, Brooklyn, NY.” HeritageQuest.

United States Census, 1940, Lottie Henderson, 67, in Brooklyn. Accessed online via Ancestry Library edition.

New York Age, Aug. 7, 1926, p. 10 has story about Alice Seay's visit with Lottie in Brooklyn.

Lottie Henderson, Brooklyn, New York, ca. 1906.
"Borough of Brooklyn," New York Age (New York, NY), July 26, 1906, p. 7.


Related Writings in Database

View works by

View works about




Back to List of Black Woman Suffragists
back to top