MRS. MARY CHURCH TERRELL
(One of Our Foremast Scholars, Thinkers, Orators)
Here is a woman richly endowed by nature for a great work to which she
has grandly devoted all her endowments. Either as orator or debater she has
few equals, yet her success was achieved by incessant labor in a most unobstrusive
After graduating from Oberlin College she taught at the Wilberforce Uni-
versity ami was teacher of languages in the Washington Colored High School.
Then she spent several years abroad, perfecting1 herself in German, French and
Italian, and on her return was offered a position on the faculty of Oberlin Col-
At this time, however, she married Robert H. Terrell, a graduate of Har-
vard, then Chief of a Division in the Treasury Department, and later one of the
Federal judges of the District of Columbia.
Thereafter, Mrs. Terrell devoted her highly developed faculties to the cause
of education, serving on the Board of Trustees of the Public Schools and on the
Board of Education. Mrs. Terrell was the first colored woman to serve on a
Board of Education in this country and was re-appointed again and again until
she served eleven yearsólonger than the service of any person, white or colored,
on the Board of Education in our National Capital.
Mrs. Terrell was the only one of the American delegates to the International
Congress of Women in Berlin some years ago who addressed the convention in
German. She followed it by an address in French. It carried the audience liter-
ally by storm, ami she was recalled three times.
Mrs. Terrell has received glowing tributes from editors and authors, far
too numerous to mention. From the dean of Harvard, after an address before
Radcliffe College students, she was described as having a good presence, an agree-
able and refined voice, an excellent command of language, a manner neither too
diffident nor self-assured, and a touch of that eloquence which seems to go with
even the least infusion of African blood. From the president of the Christian
Association of Wellesley College after an address made there, Mrs. Terrell re-
ceived a communication praising her in the highest words possible as a result of
the wide discussion her subject had created among the girls in the college.
Hardly enough can be said of Mrs. Terrell's excellence and superiority. She
speaks without notes; she stands self-possessed, master of any situation; she ap-
peals to eye, ear and heart alike in satisfying and convincing manner; she exhibits
burning eloquences, tempered by a broad education.
The above facts concerning Mrs. Terrell were taken from the Eastern Lyceum
Bureau, an exclusive publicationóBoston.