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Friday, May 24, 2024
Gwendolyn Robinson
  Mary Ann Shadd (Carey) was born in October 9th,1823 in Wilmington Delaware. Her family settled in Chatham. In 1850 or 1851 she moved to Windsor and opened a school for refugees in the ‘Old Barracks’ at the site of the former City Hall Square. She taught school there until 1853. In March of 1853 she launched The Provincial Freeman and became the first black woman publisher in North America. She was the editor and publisher of the weekly paper. The Provincial Freeman was a newspaper which promoted the abolitionist movement and provided information about the region that could assist those seeking to
settle here. At one time she described Windsor by saying, “This is by universal consent the most destitute community of coloured people known in this province” the Times Website. She remained the editor of the paper until Reverend William Newman took over in 1855. She also published a booklet entitled ‘Notes on Canada West’ intended to help inform potential refugees about life in the region.

On January 3rd, 1856 she married Thomas Carey and they eventually relocated to Washington, D.C. where she passed away in 1893. She serves as a great role model for women as she said in her farewell address in the Provincial Freeman “To coloured women, we have a word – we have broken the Ice…(Adieu Prov. Freeman Aug 22 1855). She went on to be a well known journalist, orator, educator, lawyer and activist.
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