Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Women's Advocacy Collection

The Woman's Era, Volume 1, an electronic edition

by Josephine St. P. Ruffin [Ruffin, Josephine St. P.] and Florida R. Ridley [Ridley, Florida R.]

date: [1894-1897]
source publisher: Woman's Era Club
collections: Abolition, Freedom, and Rights, Women's Advocacy

Table of Contents

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Nancy Prince

July 1894



The death of Mrs. L. L. Lenox, wife of Mr. John M. Lenox, removes another branch of one of the oldest colored families in New England. Her grandfather, Prince Ames, was a soldier in the 27th regiment of Penn., Washington's army, and served from Bunker Hill to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, and on one occasion was personally commended by Washington himself, who was trying the faithfulness of the guard for true soldierly conduct. His widow, whom many now living will remember, drew a pension till her death, which took place at Jamaica Plain in 1864, at the advanced age of ninety-seven. Mrs. Lenox's father, John T. Hilton, was born in Pennsylvania, but came to Boston at the age of seventeen, and until his death, in 1864, was one of the most prominent colored men in the country. In the early days of the antislavery movement he was called Mr. Garrison's right hand man by the colored people, and was afterwards, 1854, vice-president of the antislavery society. Her mother, who died in Cambridge, November 2, 1882, was a member of the female antislavery society; both being members of the African Baptist Church, Belknap (now Joy) St., where she (Mrs. Lenox) was at one time a member of the choir. Mrs. Lenox obtained her education partly at the Exclusive School on Belknap St. and at the Alumni Grammar School in Cambridge, and was esteemed by the committee as one of the two best readers in the Cambridge schools at that time. After her graduation she obtained a situation in a daguerrotype case-making establishment in Boston, where she was employed for several years. She was always one of the most active in every measure in which she was connected for the improvement of her people condition. Whe was among the young ladies that was always ready to co-operate with the Young Men's Literary society on occasions when their assistance was solicited, as it often was. (For this society not only did much to foster mental culture and improvement among the colored people of Boston and vicinity, but was also practical in many ways). She was also often seen going around carrying a number of bills given her by her father to be placed in special places, having the heading, so familiar to our people in those days, " To the Rescue! ------- Fugitives, about to be arrested," sent forth by order of the vigilant committee when some brave fellows, who had succeeded in making their escape from slavery, seemed in danger of apprehension and arrest. Many, now living, will remember her presiding at the tables of the antislavery fairs, and how much her cheerful ways contributed to enliven those occasions. She also was a member of the "Fourier Club", a society consisting of both white and colored persons, find was very influential in alleviating the conditions of the colored people.

Mrs. Lenox, after her marriage, was for many years a resident of Waltham, Mass, where she was always characterized by her devotion to her down-trodden people, and never ceased to speak or act in their behalf, when opportunity presented itself. It was through her personal influence and recommendation that that author and philanthropist, Nancy Prince, was introduced and became popular with the people of that town and the places adjacent; and the lectures she delivered from time to time in the former place may still be remembered by some of the older residents. Many an one in the old days gave testimony to the light they received from that entertaining speaker by her rehersal [sic] of her experience and labors in Russia and West India, for Mrs. Lenox was among the first of the many colored workers to embark for the W. I. after emancipation, where her labors with others that went from the U. S. were of great service, and her co-operation in antislavery work and in special works of philanthropy. It may not be known to many that Mrs. Prince was the founder of the first orphan asylum for colored children in New England and was its firs matron. Her book, "Life of Nancy Prince," published in 1849, may still be found in the houses of many of the old residents of Boston, as well as other places all over Massachusetts.

Mrs. Lenox was highly esteemed in Waltham, where she and her husband did much to dispel prejudice in that place, and to increase the antislavery sentiment there existing. She was also noted for her charitable disposition and her many acts in this direction will be remembered by not a few. Mrs. Lenox never forgot the lessons of Christianity, which were early inculcated in her by noble, high- minded parents.

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