Mary Lucinda (Mrs. W. L.) Young

Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biography of Mary Lucinda (Mrs. W. L.) Young, 1862-1924

(Mary Lucinda Malry/ Mabry/ Maberry/ Mayberry)

By Jewel Parker, Graduate Student, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Mary Lucinda Maberry was born in Virginia around 1862. There is not an existing birth certificate or obituary listing her parents or family members, but census records show that her mother was Emily Maberry, born around 1830, and her father is unknown. Both of her parents were born in Virginia. Lucinda, who regularly went by her middle name, also had two older siblings, a sister named Emma, born around 1852, and a brother named John, born around 1858. By 1880, Lucinda, her mother, and her brother, lived with now married sister, Emma Maberry Farrell at 104 Sussex Street, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey.

It is unclear exactly when Lucinda met her husband, Wesley L. Young. Born on October 10, 1855 into slavery in Charleston, South Carolina, Wesley grew up, headed north, and enlisted in the US Navy. He left New York on the USS Supply on December 18, 1875 and is listed as a mulatto man, 5 foot 6 inches tall, in military records. Newspaper clippings from The New York Age share photographs of Wesley when he later became involved in politics and describe him as a light-haired, colored man. After suffering rheumatic pain, which the doctor noted was not caused by military service since he experienced the pain prior to enlistment, Wesley visited the naval hospital in Philadelphia, in May 1876. He was discharged to the USRS Potomac on August 21, 1876. According to US Naval records, he returned to New York on the USS Colorado on April 28, 1877.

By 1890, Lucinda had moved to New York. She boarded at 182 Bond Street in Brooklyn with Wesley Young, who worked as a truck driver. In an intriguing headline in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on Wednesday, June 17, 1891, "Lucinda's Lovers Meet" reported that around 10 pm the previous night, Lucinda was walking along Bond Street, escorted by her boyfriend, Charles Owens. Wesley Young followed Lucinda and saw her meet up with Charles. Filled with jealous rage, Wesley tried to stab Charles with a knife. As Lucinda ran away, Charles fired a revolver 3 times into the air, though one of the bullets passed through Wesley's shirt. After a police chase, Lucinda, Charles, and Wesley were all brought to court. Charles pled guilty to shooting the gun but swore that he did not intend to hurt Wesley and that that he just wanted to scare him away. In an ironic twist, Lucinda married Wesley in Kings County, NY on October 14, 1891.

This was not Wesley's only run-in with the law. On Monday, August 1, 1892, Wesley and his brother John were accused of stealing $46 dollars' worth of merchandise from Lynch & Gullen's Store and storing it in the stable across the road from their residence. The brothers pled not guilty and eventually made bail. By 1900, Wesley and Lucinda started their lives anew at 580 Baltic Street in Brooklyn. The New York Age reported Wesley to be the first black man to register as a Democrat in Brooklyn. By 1900, he was a major party leader of the eighth assembly district.

As Wesley began his political career, Lucinda spent the second decade of their marriage regularly travelling to New Jersey to visit with family and friends. On August 29, 1907, The New York Age reported that M. Lucinda Young returned to 580 Baltic Street after a weeklong vacation in Atlantic City, NJ and Philadelphia, with friends. A March 5, 1908 article in The New York Age reported that Lucinda and Wesley entertained many friends and family at their Baltic Street home. Lucinda's sister and brother presented her a diamond ring and silk umbrella.

By May 21, 1908, Lucinda had become the proprietress of Brooklyn Cottage, a vacation home for African Americans, located at 1124 Springwood Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ, where she frequently stayed during the summer months. While her husband's burgeoning career in politics carried on, Lucinda managed Brooklyn Cottage and regularly travelled back and forth between Brooklyn and Asbury Park, for nearly a decade. In 1910, Wesley and Mary continued to live on Baltic Street. A new resident, Randolph Davis, age 22, lived with them. Randolph was an immigrant from the West Indies and worked as a waiter in a restaurant.

Wesley continued to move up in his political career and when it was not Brooklyn Cottage season, Lucinda helped him urge black men to register and vote as Democrats. A New York Age article from March 23, 1911, records a meeting of the United Colored Democracy of Kings County. Wesley was the President of the organization and the attendees applauded him for his new appointment as deputy state superintendent of elections in Brooklyn. In January 1912, at the monthly meeting of the executive committee of the United Colored Democracy of Kings County, Wesley was elected President. According to a New York Age article on November 13, 1913, at a May 23, 1912 meeting, the Regular Colored Democrat Association "reorganized" with Wesley as their chairman. Wesley reached the peak of his political career when the Colored Democrat Association of Kings County gave a banquet for him at Bulger's Hotel on December 17, 1912 and began calling him "Chief."

Around this time, Lucinda began attending local black women's meetings and picnics where she perhaps advocated for women's right to vote. On July 10, 1913, the New York Age reported that "seventeen new clubs have been added to [Empire State] Federation [of Women's Clubs], which now has a membership of 4,000 women." Meeting in Buffalo, New York, July 3-5, the Empire State Federation passed resolutions in favor of women's suffrage, against tobacco use, and against chewing gum in public, especially for girls. Suffragist and National Association of Colored Women leader, Mary Burnett Talbert, presided over the final meeting held at the Michigan Street Baptist Church in Buffalo. Mrs. Young was one of the delegates in attendance.

On January 1, 1916, Wesley took a new job as a cleaner for the local jail. Yet, on August 16, 1916, he took a leave of absence without pay for 3 days. It is unclear why he took a few days off work. The local newspapers did not share information of vacations or political meetings which he may have attended during this time. However, a Mrs. Young (possibly Lucinda) had recently been listed as one of the "convalescent sick" of the St. James A.M.E. Church in Newark, New Jersey. The summer of 1916 would be Lucinda's last season running Brooklyn Cottage. On Thursday, June 7, 1917, the New York Age reported that "Mrs. M. Lucinda Young of 580 Baltic Street, well known in Church and clubwomen circles, has returned from a business trip to Asbury Park, with the announcement that she will not open the Brooklyn Cottage for the season of 1917." The paper added that "Mrs. Lucindy Young will not conduct the Brooklyn Cottage at Asbury Park this summer but will continue her residence at 580 Baltic street. She will devote considerable time to church, club and social service activities."

After 1917, Lucinda disappears from newspaper records. Even Wesley seemed to take leave of the public for a while until a Standard Union article published on May 27, 1920 declared that "Wesley L. Young, of Butler St., is Busy Again." The 1920 federal census record listed the couple--Wesley as the keeper of the jail and Mary with no occupation. Nathanial Sampson, a 48-year-old single black man who was a watchman for a detective agency and Albert Watkins, a 50-year-old single black man who was a porter for a store also boarded with them.

Lucinda Young died most likely in January 1924. The New York State Death Index records a Lucinda Young, birthdate unknown, who died on January 21, 1924 in Kings County, New York and was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn. In addition, a marriage certificate and New York Age newspaper article corroborate that Wesley Young remarried on October 18, 1924.

Wesley would lead the Regular Colored Democrat Association until 1941, when in his 80s, he was replaced by a younger leader. His next two wives, Minnie Christian Taylor Young and Elizabeth Wright Young, both also known as Mrs. W. L. Young, carried on Lucinda's legacy of charity and church work, supporting Wesley's political career. Wesley died at the age of 89 on April 14, 1944. He is also buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn.


"Ask Democrats to Permit Negro Votes," The Standard Union, May 27, 1920.

"At the Summer Resorts," The New York Age, August 5, 1909.

"At the Summer Resorts," The New York Age, July 7, 1910.

"Brooklyn," The New York Age, August 29, 1907.

"Brooklyn," The New York Age, March 5, 1908.

"Brooklyn," The New York Age, May 21, 1908.

"Brooklyn," The New York Age, May 20, 1909.

"Brooklyn," The New York Age,, June 07, 1917.

"Brooklyn Notes," The New York Age, December 12, 1912.

"Brooklyn Notes," The New York Age, June 13, 1912.

"Brothers Arrested For Burglary," The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 1, 1892.

"Colored Men Pledge Selves to Democracy," The Brooklyn Citizen, October 13, 1924.

"Colored Voters Cheer Denouncement of G.O.P." The Brooklyn Citizen, October 13, 1923.

"Democratic Leader, Indorsed," The New York Age, November 13, 1913.

"Female Smokers are Criticized: Empire State Federation Also Protests Against the Chewing of Gum," The New York Age, July 10, 1913.

Howell, Ron. Boss of Black Brooklyn: The Life and Times of Bertram L. Baker. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018.

"Kings Democrats Meet," The New York Age, March 23, 1911.

"Lucinda's Lovers Meet, And a Knife and Revolver Figure in the Subsequent Proceedings," The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 17, 1891.

"Negro Democrats Organize in 17th: Welcomed Into Fold by Wesley L. Young, County Leader of Their Race," The Brooklyn Citizen, July 17, 1922.

"Newark, N.J." The New York Age, March 23, 1916.

"Turned Out in Large Number at the Iron Pier Last Night, Raising Funds for a Home." The Brooklyn Citizen, August 31, 1900.

"Perry Leading Rebel Colored Democrats Here: Dissatisfied Wing Opens War on Leader Wesley Young." The Brooklyn Citizen. January 12, 1924.

"Perry Succeeds Fulcher as Leader," The New York Age, January 18, 1912.

"Police and Fire News." The New York Age, August 16, 1916.

"Want Fitzgerald to Support Measure," The New York Age, June 19, 1912.

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