Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biography of Annie Thomas, 1893 - ?

By Thomas Dublin

Annie Thomas was born in New York state (probably in Buffalo) in 1893, daughter of Albert and Amy Thomas and the family resided in Buffalo from the mid-1880s through at least 1920. The couple had married in 1884 and had six children. In both 1900 and 1910 the household also included a boarder. In 1900, 1905 and 1910, the family lived in Ward 22 of Buffalo.

Albert, born in West Virginia, graduated from Fisk University in 1882 and earned a law degree from Yale University in 1884. He began practicing law in Buffalo shortly after his graduation. The Buffalo census in 1900 recorded his occupation as attorney. The family rented their home in 1900. Albert served briefly as deputy clerk of the Buffalo Municipal Court. He died in December 1906 of "heart trouble." In the 1910 census Amy was listed as widowed and worked as a music teacher. Annie attended school in 1900 and 1910. By 1915, Annie's mother had remarried to West Indies-born Edward Campbell and Annie, now 20, was the oldest of three children who lived with the couple in ward 24 of Buffalo. By 1920 Annie had left the family's household. At that later date, her mother and three children lived together in ward 24 in Buffalo.

Annie's sole suffrage reference is a newspaper account in the New York Age in June 1910 when she participated in a debate, "Enfranchisement of Women." Annie Thomas was said to be president of the Anihita Club and she debated a young man from the Alpha Beta Sigma fraternity.

We've not found any further mention of Annie Thomas after 1915. She may have married or left Buffalo before 1920, since she no longer lived with her mother and siblings according to the 1920 federal census.


Federal Manuscript Censuses, Buffalo, 1900, 1905, 1910, 1915 and 1920. U.S. School Catalogs, 1765-1935, entry for Albert Morris Thomas. Death record, Albert M. Thomas, 1906. All accessed online with Ancestry Library Edition.

"Woman's Suffrage Debate in Buffalo," New York Age, 16 June 1910, p. 8.

"The Late A.M. Thomas," Buffalo Evening News, 12 Dec. 1906, p. 1.

Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello, Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017), p. 89.


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