Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biographical Sketch of Agnes H. Brown, 1854-?

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Agnes H. Brown was born in 1854 in Washington, DC, the daughter of Lloyd and Dora Brown. l. Nothing is known about her education but in November 1879 she married Samuel Brown. In 1880 she and her husband Samuel lived with Agnes's parents and siblings. According to the 1900 census she had given birth to 15 children, 8 of whom were still living. In 1900 she worked as a laundress; in 1920 she was listed as a janitor. Her husband was recorded as a laundress that year.

In February 1921, Mrs. A. H. Brown joined a delegation of 60 Black women suffragists, who protested violations of the recently ratified 19th Amendment in Southern states that denied Black women their voting rights. The delegation, headed by NAACP field secretary, Addie W. Hunton, met with Alice Paul, head of the National Woman's Party (NWP) on the eve of the party's national convention. Their purpose was to press the NWP to pass a resolution calling on Congress to investigate the failures of Southern states to enforce the 19th Amendment for Black women. Paul made no such commitment and the convention as a whole refused to endorse the call.

Agnes H. Brown purchased a two-story house on 3rd Street N.E. in March 1923.

No death record has been found for Agnes H. Brown.

Sources:

Federal Manuscript Censuses, Washington, DC, 1870-1920. Accessible online with Ancestry Library Edition.

List of NAACP Delegation Members to Alice Paul, 12 February 1921, NAACP Papers, Part 04 Voting Rights and Voting Rights Campaign, 1916-1950 (Feb. 8, 1921-April 3, 1921), frames 61-64, Library of Congress.

Washington Evening Star, 3 March 1923, p. 22.

 

 

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