Mary Ann was an educator, the first black women publisher in Canada, advocate for the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage. She founded The Provincial Freeman Newspaper. Mary Ann also founded a racially integrated school for Black refugees in Windsor.
When freedom seekers used the underground railway in 1850, Mary Ann created the newspaper to promote and inform the people of Canada about the freedom seekers and their successes. The first Article was printed on March 24, 1853. This paper was run from 1853- to 1857.
Mary Ann became a schoolteacher in Chatham during the American Civil War but later she returned to The United States where she would work as a recruitment agent for the Army. She later attended Harvard Law and become one of the first black women to obtain their law degree.
In 1994, Mary Ann Shadd was recognized as a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government.
If you reside in Chatham, you can check out the historical landmark named “BME Freedom Park” which includes a bronze statue of Mary Ann Shadd.