Maria Stewart was one of the first African-American public intellectuals and the first to address a mixed audience of Black and White people, men and women, on topics including abolitionism, faith and the rights of women. In time her criticism of Black men proved unpopular, and she retired from public life to become a teacher and, later, head matron of Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., the forerunner of renowned Howard University. (Project HBW)

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