Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States

By Linda Eisenmann | Go to book overview

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Washington, Margaret Murray. Although perhaps most known as the wife of educator Booker T. Washington, Margaret Murray Washington's (1865–1925) leadership in the African American women's club movement* and her contributions as teacher and principal at Tuskegee Institute* establish her as one of the most influential African American female educators of her time.

Washington was born on March 9, 1865, in Macon, Mississippi, into a family of nine brothers and sisters. Following her father's death when she was only seven, she lived with a Quaker* family, who encouraged her to finish school and study to become a teacher. At fourteen, she enrolled in the preparatory school of Fisk University* as a working student. Upon completion of preparatory and college course work, Washington received a B.A. in 1889. The same year she was hired as an English teacher at Booker T. Washington's renowned Tuskegee Institute in Alabama; one year later, she became dean of women* and director of the Department of Domestic Sciences at the institute, where she supervised courses in dressmaking, cooking, millinery work, laundering, and mattress making. She was also a member of the Executive Committee, which managed the school's affairs during Booker T. Washington's frequent fundraising and speaking tours. Upon her marriage to Booker T. Washington in 1902, she assumed an even greater role in the school, assisting her husband in speechwriting as well as fund-raising. Her affiliation with Fisk, for example, prompted corporate philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to donate money to that university.

In addition to her activities at Tuskegee, Margaret Murray Washington was deeply involved in community and race uplift,* primarily through the African American women's club movement. In 1895, she founded the Tuskegee Woman's Club, composed of female teachers and the wives of male institute teachers. Under Washington's presidency, a group of thirteen women held meetings twice a month in which they pursued self-educative activities such as lit

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Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction xi
  • A 1
  • B 29
  • C 65
  • D 111
  • E 136
  • F 146
  • G 163
  • H 188
  • I 217
  • J 225
  • K 229
  • L 232
  • M 256
  • N 287
  • O 312
  • P 317
  • Q 331
  • R 336
  • S 349
  • T 408
  • U 443
  • V 446
  • W 456
  • Y 494
  • Appendix: Timeline of Women's Educational History in the United States 503
  • Selected Bibliography 507
  • Index 511
  • About the Editor and Contributors 525
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