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Martha I. Pallante

Horace Greeley's formidable editorial, journalistic, and oratorical skills in espousing abolition, temperance, and other reform causes influenced audiences at the national level. According to his biographer Don C. Seitz, “No rival American journalist ever created an influence that penetrated so deeply.”

Greeley was born on 3 February 1811 and during his sixty-one years pursued a life that remains something of a study in contradictions. The son of the failed New England farmers Zaccheus and Mary Woodburn Greeley, he rose from his poverty-stricken roots to the top of the journalistic profession in a manner that marks him as an archetype for Horatio Alger's rags-to-riches characters. Like the title character of Alger's Paul Prescott's Charge, Greeley “battled bravely with the difficulties and the discouragements that beset him in early life” to attain the pinnacle of his profession.

In contrast to his professional success disappointment marked Greeley s personal life As ...

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Mary Krane Derr

labor union organizer and officer, businessperson, educator, and activist, was born Aileen Clarke in Brooklyn, New York, to Jamaican immigrants Ethel Louise Hall Clarke, a theatrical costume maker and seamstress, and Charles Henry Clarke Sr., an art supply business worker. Their lessons of bravery, persistence, and nondiscrimination served Hernandez and her brothers well as they grew up in Bay Ridge, a majority-white Brooklyn neighborhood. Hernandez was valedictorian of her public grammar school class. In 1943 she graduated from Bay Ridge High School as salutatorian and won a scholarship to Howard University. Outraged by the more blatant segregation in the nation's capital, she picketed Jim Crow facilities with the campus NAACP chapter. Hernandez edited the college newspaper and penned a college issues column for the Washington Tribune. After graduating from Howard magna cum laude in Sociology and Political Science in 1947 she was ...

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Kathryn M. Silva

educator, textile mill supervisor, dressmaker, was born Gertrude C. Hood in North Carolina, the eldest daughter of four children to Sophia J. Nugent, of Washington, D.C., and James Walker Hood of Pennsylvania. Miller's father was a prominent bishop and educator in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church. Gertrude Hood Miller, also known as “Gertie,” spent her life in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Miller's mother, Sophia Nugent died in 1875. Two years after her mother's death, James Walker Hood married Keziah “Katie” Price McCoy of Wilmington, North Carolina. The couple went on to have more children, making Hood the eldest of eleven children (Martin, p. 41) Shortly after her birth, Miller's father moved the family to his new post with the Evans AMEZ Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Henry Evans, an African American pastor, built the church in 1796 and it became the ...