Biographical Database of Black Women Suffragists

Biographical Sketch of Elizabeth (Mrs. F.C.) Johnson, 1871-?

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Elizabeth Johnson (maiden name uncertain) was born in 1871 or 1872 in Virginia. Her education and marriage date are uncertain, but the 1920 census found her and husband Frederick C. Johnson residing in the District of Columbia The couple probably had two children, Ella and Clara. In 1920 they lived with 16-year-old Clara and two boarders. Frederick was recorded as a teacher and Elizabeth with no occupation.

In February 1921, a delegation of African American supporters of women's suffrage met to protest violations of the recently ratified 19th Amendment by Southern states that systematically denied Black women's voting rights. This group of women asked the National Woman's Party to approach the U.S. Congress about appointing a special committee to investigate the violations of woman suffrage that were occurring in southern states with regard to African American women. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called for the meeting and Addie W. Hunton, NAACP Field Secretary, organized the gathering. Mrs. F.C. was among those that appear on the NAACP list of delegates.

Elizabeth Johnson was widowed at some point in the 1920s and the 1930 census recorded her as residing with her married daughter, Ella Wingfield, her son-in-law, and two grandchildren. She worked as a cook at that date. She may have died in the 1930s as she was not recorded in her married daughter's household in D.C. in 1940.

SOURCES

1920-1940 Federal censuses, Washington, D.C. 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. Accessed online in the NAACP Papers in ProQuest History Vault.

 

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