Gertrude Bustill Mossell

ca. 1890

One of the leading Black writers of the late 19th century, Gertrude Mossell came from a Quaker, abolitionist family in Philadelphia. She used her column “The Woman’s Department” in the New York Freeman – then the leading African American newspaper in the country – as a platform to vocalize her support for suffrage and the right of women to own property and attend college.

In 1894 Mossell published her groundbreaking feminist history, The Work of the Afro-American Woman, which traced the accomplishments of Black female professionals in the suffrage, temperance, and abolitionist movements.

University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania.