Biographical Database of Black Woman Suffragists

Biography of Florence Henderson, 1880-1925


By Reneé Vanish-McLaurin, Undergrad Student, Rosemont College, Rosemont, Penn.

Florence Henderson was born in March 1880 in New York to Charles and Nancy Henderson. Her father, born in Washington, DC, drove a truck, and her mother, of Virginia, worked as a laundress. She had several siblings, including Mabel, born 1884; Ida B., born 1891; and Mary E., born 1894. Florence Henderson was a wage earner, employed as a housekeeper in 1900, a milliner in 1910, and a clerk at the post office in 1920. She never married and did not have children.

Florence Henderson was a lifelong participant in her religious community. In 1906, she was elected treasurer of the Lily of the Valley Circle, Class No. 2 at Concord Baptist Church. She participated in other events with the Lily of the Valley Circle, including a “prize party” in 1908. Her connections at Concord Baptist Church meant that she was associated with members of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs (ESFWC). It was possible that in July 1913 she attended the ESFWC meeting as part of the Dorcas Home Mission Society. In 1914, Florence Henderson assisted Lottie Henderson in organizing a social event in 1914 that was attended by other delegates at the 1913 ESFWC meeting, including Sarah Moles, Sylvia Harris, Charlotte Bell, and Emma Miles, as well as the founder of the federation, Alice Wiley Seay. In 1917, Florence Henderson was a founding member of Concord Baptist Church's Unit 33, organized by Sylvia Harris, which initially sent aid to soldiers overseas and then continued to raise funds for the needy in Brooklyn. Florence Henderson and her sister, Ida, seemed to have been good friends with Sylvia Harris, as they vacationed at her home in 1918.

Florence Henderson died on April 16, 1925, in New York, and she was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery.


“Brooklyn Notes,” New York Age (New York, NY), May 7, 1914,

“Brooklyn News,” New York Age (New York, NY), February 6, 1932,

“Entertainments by Sunday School Classes,” New York Age (New York, NY), April 5, 1906,

“Female Smokers Are Criticized: Empire State Federation Also Protests Against the Chewing of Gum.” New York Age (New York, NY). Jul. 10, 1913.

“Florence Henderson.” Interment #13445. Cedar Grove Cemetery.

“The Fourth Annual Social and Leap Year Prize Party,” New York Age (New York, NY), February 13, 1908,

New York, NY, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948. Florence Henderson, April 16, 1925, Kings, NY. Ancestry Library Ed.

“Out Of Town Correspondence: Rahway, N.J.,” New York Age (New York, NY), September 7, 1918,

United States Census 1900, 1910, 1920 s.v. “Florence Henderson, Brooklyn, Kings, NY.” HeritageQuest.


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