Mary Jane Patterson Photo

Mary Jane Patterson

Born: Sep 12, 1840

Death: Sep 24, 1894

Birthplace: Raleigh

Nationality: United States

Mary Jane Patterson

Date of Birth : Sep 12, 1840
Date of Death : Sep 24, 1894
Birth Place : Raleigh

Mary Jane Patterson was the first African-American woman to receive a B.A degree in 1862. She was the oldest of Henry Irving Patterson and Emeline Eliza Patterson's children. There is conflicting data on how many siblings she had, but most sources cite between seven and ten. Henry Patterson worked as a bricklayer and plasterer who gained his freedom, after Mary was born, in 1852. After this, he moved his family north to Ohio. The Patterson's settled in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1856. Oberlin had a large community of black families; some were freed slaves and some were fugitive slaves. Oberlin was popular because it had a racially integrated co-ed college. Henry Patterson worked as a master mason, and for many years the family boarded large numbers of black students in their home.

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