History October 10, 2019 at 05:30 pm

Little known stories of five teens who made an impact in History

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

Theodora Aidoo October 10, 2019 at 05:30 pm

October 10, 2019 at 05:30 pm | History

Mary Edmonson and Emily Edmonson – Flickr

Mary Edmonson and Emily Edmonson

The Edmonson sisters were the daughters of Paul and Amelia Edmonson, a free black man and an enslaved woman in Montgomery County, Maryland. Mary and Emily were two of 13 or 14 children who were born into slavery.

On April 15, 1848, Mary and Emile were reportedly part of the 77 slaves who tried to escape from Washington, DC on the schooner The Pearl to sail up the Chesapeake Bay to freedom in New Jersey.

They did not succeed but were later freed from slavery by funds raised by pastor Henry Ward Beecher, an abolitionist at the Congregational Church in Brooklyn, New York.

The African American teen sisters ages 13 and 15 became celebrities in the United States abolitionist movement after gaining their freedom from slavery.

The sisters got support to go to school and lived a free life. They were noted for campaigning with Beecher throughout the North for the end of slavery in the United States.

Nine years ago the city of Alexandria, Virginia, named a park on Duke Street as Edmonson Plaza after the two sisters and a 10-foot-tall bronze sculpture of the two sisters by the sculptor Erik Blome was installed at Edmonson Plaza.

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