Laura McAdoo Craver

Biographical Database of Black Woman Suffragists

Biography of Laura McAdoo Craver, 1882- ?

By Leah Pierre, undergraduate student, Rosemont College

Laura McAdoo was born in 1882 in North Carolina. She and her mother, Sarah McAdoo, relocated to New York City. There, Laura married Baxter M. Craver in 1904. The couple first resided in Manhattan and then relocated to the Bronx in 1910, where her husband was a porter in the railroad industry. It was during this time that Laura Craver became very active in the community.

She was most heavily involved in St. Mark's A.M.E Church, as she not only attended but also helped to organize many of their programs, some of which were held at different churches. In July of 1909, Craver attended and was in charge of a program called Children's Day at St. Mark's M.E. Church. Then, later in the same year, Craver prepared and attended a program at Bethel A.M.E. Church, where she presented her essay, "Company and Its Influences." Craver visited Zion A.M.E Church and was in charge of a program for the J.C. Price Lyceum in which she sang a duet with Mesdames Sadie and C. Jackson. She also helped to put on multiple programs at Mt. Olivet B.Y.P.U. in March of 1911, then participated in another program there in November.

In addition to being involved with church work, she was also a part of various other community organizations. In 1913, she was a delegate to the fifth annual convention of the Empire State Federation, during which they endorsed suffrage. She became president of the Harlem Utilitarian Club in 1912, which put on a two-act musical comedy called "A Trip to Jamatu" to fundraise for the Home For Delinquent Girls. She worked with the White Rose Home, and, in 1912, she attended a conference on Workers with Boys and Workers with Girls. She was the assistant secretary of the Earnest Worker's Circle of which her mother was president. She was also involved with the Lucy Laney League and the Y.W.C.A.

By 1915 she and her mother shared lodgings, and she worked as a bookkeeper in order to support herself. A city directory in 1915 lists Craver as a bookkeeper and her husband still as a porter. However, a census of the same year lists her living as a lodger with the Evans family on W. 134th Street, while her husband is listed as residing at 990 Brook Ave.

While her mother remained active in the Y.W.C.A. and her church, there is no mention of Laura again after 1915. According to the 1920 census, the two women no longer shared a residence. Her mother was listed as a boarder at the Ransom house in an issue of The New York Age in 1927, so it is possible that Laura may have died in the flu epidemic.

Laura McAdoo Craver is remembered for dedicating her life to serving her church and her community.


New York State Census, 1905 and 1915, in, 2014.

1910 and 1920 United States Federal Census," in, 2006,

"Children's Day at St. Mark's," New York Age (New York, New York), Aug. 13, 1908, accessed via

"Missionary Society at Bethel," New York Age (New York, New York), Nov. 4, 1909, accessed via

"Mother Zion A.M.E Church," New York Age (New York, New York), Apr. 21, 1910, accessed via

"Mt. Olivet B.Y.P.U," New York Age (New York, New York), Mar. 2, 1912, accessed via

"The Mount Olivet Baptist Church," New York Age (New York, New York), Nov. 9, 1911, accessed via

"Female Smokers Are Criticised," The New York Age (New York, New York), Jul. 10, 1913, accessed via This is the single source that connects Craver to support of woman suffrage.

"The Harlem Utilitarian Neighborhood Club," New York Age (New York, New York), Sept. 19 1912, accessed via

"Afro-American Notes," New York Age (New York, New York), Oct. 29, 1912, accessed via

"The News of Greater New York; Manhattan and Bronx," New York Age (New York, New York), June 17, 1909, accessed via

"Lucy Laney League Masquerade," New York Age (New York, New York), Nov. 14, 1912, accessed via

"Y.W.C.A. Notes," New York Age (New York, New York), Feb. 8, 1917, accessed via

New York city directories, in U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,, 2011.

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