Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

Title

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

Description

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin was an incredible organizer of women. In 1879 she started the Boston Kansas Relief Assoc. to raise money to support Exodusters - the first African-Americans to leave the South en masse.

She helped Lucy Stone & Julia Ward Howe found the American Woman Suffrage Assoc in Boston, after the split with Stanton & Anthony. She was a charter member of the Massachusetts School Suffrage Assoc, organizing women to use their first small opportunity to vote in school board elections.

Josephine was born in Boston & educated in Salem b/c her parents refused to send her to Boston’s segregated schools.

She was 16 when she married George Ruffin. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1869 (!) & became Boston’s 1st Black judge. As a member of the state legislature, he supported woman suffrage.

After George died, Josephine expanded her career as an editor and publisher. She wrote for the Courant, a Black weekly, and was an active member of the New England Women’s Press Assoc, which she helped integrate.

In 1890 she and her daughter Florida started The Woman’s Era.

The Woman's Era was the first newspaper by and for African-American women. Josephine was editor & publisher.

In 1894 they expanded to national distribution, creating a crucial mouthpiece for the women's club movement Josephine was helping to launch.

Tomorrow: the movement.

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

25/02/2020

Files

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Citation

Daily Suffragist, “Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin,” Daily Suffragist, accessed April 14, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/253.

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