Top of page

Collection Mary Church Terrell Papers


A chronology of key events in the life of Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954), educator, lecturer, feminist, and civil rights activist.

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954)

  1. 1863, Sept. 23

    Born Memphis, Tenn.

  2. Circa 1869

    Attended "Model School" for children, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio

  3. 1884

    A.B., Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio

  4. 1885-1887

    Taught at Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio

  5. 1887-1888

    Taught at High School for Colored Youth, Washington, D.C.

  6. 1888

    A.M., Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio

  7. 1888-1890

    Studied and traveled in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy

  8. 1890-1891

    Resumed teaching, High School for Colored Youth, Washington, D.C.

  9. 1891

    Married Robert H. Terrell (died 1925)

  10. 1895-1901

    Served on District of Columbia School Board

  11. 1896

    Organized and became first president of the National Association of Colored Women

  12. 1898-1920

    Active in woman's suffrage movement

  13. 1904

    Addressed International Congress of Women, Berlin, Germany

  14. 1906-1911

    Reappointed to and served on District of Columbia School Board

  15. 1909

    Charter member, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

  16. 1918-1919

    Served in War Camp Community Service

  17. 1919

    Addressed Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Zurich, Switzerland

  18. 1920

    Appointed supervisor, Committee for Eastern District Work among Colored Women, Republican National Committee

  19. 1929-1930

    Campaigned for Ruth Hanna McCormick, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Illinois

  20. 1932

    Served as adviser to the Republican National Committee, Herbert Hoover Presidential campaign

  21. 1937

    Represented American black women at World Fellowship of Faiths, London, England

  22. 1940

    Published autobiography, A Colored Woman in a White World. Washington, D.C.: Ransdell, Inc.

  23. 1949

    Admitted to membership in the American Association of University Women after being rejected by the Washington, D.C., branch

    Elected chairman, Coordinating Committee for the Enforcement of D.C. Anti-Discrimination Laws

  24. 1954, July 24

    Died, Annapolis, Md.