Goldsboro NC

She Changed the World: Ruth Whitehead Whaley.

Last week, Wayne County Public Library presented Part II of “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History,” Wayne County’s contribution to She Changed the World: North Carolina Woman Breaking Barriers, an initiative by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to celebrate the achievements of North Carolina women and explore the diversity of their experiences and impact on our history. Part II focuses on Goldsboro native Ruth Whitehead Whaley, the first African-American woman admitted to the North Carolina bar.

My thanks to Local History librarians Marty Tschetter and Paul Saylors for inviting me to contribute remarks on the influence Ms. Whaley has had on my mission in Black Wide-Awake and the importance of stories like hers.

Goldsboro News-Argus, 30 May 1932.

[Sidenote: Judge Frank A. Daniels was the older brother of Josephus Daniels, newspaper editor and racist demagogue. Both grew up in Wilson.]

Colored Presbyterians.

Several black Presbyterians with Wilson ties participated in a Sunday School convention in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1899.

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Goldsboro Daily Argus, 12 August 1899.

  • C. Dillard — Clarence Dillard.
  • Mamie Parker — In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter Daniel Vick, 52; wife Fannie, 52; and granddaughters Annie, 8, and Nettie B. Vick, 6, and Mamie Parker, 20, laundress. Vick reported that both his parents were born in Virginia.
  • S.H. Vick — Samuel H. Vick. Mamie Parker was his niece.

Dr. William Henry Bryant.

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A.B. Caldwell, ed., History of the American Negro and His Institutions, North Carolina Edition (1921).

Here’s William Henry Bryant‘s family early in freedom: paternal grandmother Mary Bryant, father Fisher Bryant, mother Martha Ruffin Bryant, aunts Eliza and Caroline Bryant, and older siblings Lilly and General Bryant. [Small world: Martha’s father David Ruffin was the man shot by Zeno Green here.]

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1870 census, Wilson township, Wilson County, North Carolina.

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1930 census, Goldsboro, Wayne County, North Carolina.

Here’s the entry for Dr. Bryant in Geraldine Rhoades Beckford’s Biographical Dictionary of American Physicians of African Ancestry 1800-1920:

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