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Theresa Leininger-Miller

artist, was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of James F. Bell and Susanna County, probably laborers. Little is known about Bell's early life. She presumably attended segregated schools. It is unlikely that she ever received artistic training; she declared that she drew “without human teaching.” She probably worked as a domestic servant, laundress, or seamstress, beginning in her teenage years, and she may have traveled extensively. Bell said she “lived all around” before World War I. Since she does not appear in early-twentieth-century city directories or census records in Washington, D.C., or Boston, Massachusetts, and because she apparently never married or had children, it is likely that she resided with her various employers.

By the mid-1920s Bell was working for Edward Peter Pierce, justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts from 1914 to 1937, and Adele Dutaud Pierce his wife as a live ...

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Natalia Majluf

better known as Pancho Fierro, one of the most influential artists of nineteenth-century Peru, was born in Lima on 5 October 1807. He was the illegitimate son of a slave, María del Carmen Fierro, and a Creole priest, Nicolás Mariano Rodríguez del Fierro y Robina, scion of a wealthy Lima family, who served as priest in the Indian parish of San Damián and taught at the University of San Marcos. Though his father does not seem to have protected him, his wider family did lend the child some level of support. The painter, in fact, had the rare privilege of being freed at birth, while his mother, a servant in the Rodríguez del Fierro household, would only gain manumission in 1826. His wife, Gervasia Rosa Cornejo Belzunce, whom he married in 1828 was also of Afro Peruvian descent At least three children are known to have been ...

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Thomas R. Wolejko

slave, sharecropper, and artist, was born in Benton, Alabama, on the plantation of George Hartwell Traylor, from whom Bill acquired his surname. His parents' names and occupations are not known, but they were likely slaves on the Traylor plantation. Although Traylor recalled 1854 as his date of birth (he could not read or write), the 1900 U.S. Census for Lowndes County recorded his actual birth date as two years later.

After the Civil War, nine-year-old Bill continued to live and work on the Traylor plantation, eventually becoming a sharecropper. George Hartwell Traylor died in 1881, leaving the plantation to his son, Marion. On 13 August 1891 Bill married a woman named Lorisa (some sources refer to her as Laura). At the time of the 1900 U.S. Census, Traylor had fathered nine children: Pauline (1884), George (1885), Sallie (1887 ...