Edit Current Bio
UCB is written collaboratively by you and our community of volunteers. Please edit and add contents by clicking on the add and edit links to the right of the content

Frances Simpson Leggett

Born on 12-14-1849. She was born in Buffalo, NY. She was accomplished in the area of Education. She later died on 5-17-1921.
  • Basic Info
  • Attachments
  • Relations
  • Organizations
  • Accomplishments
  • Schools
  • Employers
Frances Simpson was born in 1849. Her parents were Prudence Watts Simpson and Eugene, also known as John Simpson. Both of her parents were born in the state of Maryland.

Mrs. Leggett is cited as one of two female teachers in the Vine Street African School, established for Buffalo's colored residents in the 1860s. The school was a source of controversy following the end of the Civil War. In 1867 a group of parents, led by Henry Moxley, sued to integrate their children into the regular public school system. Citing the Fourteenth Amendment that said, "no state can deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." the Black parents appeared before the School Committee of the Buffalo Common Council to argue that the segregated Vine Street African School violated their rights. They wanted to send their children to the other schools on Buffalo's East side. When the Council ignored their plea, Moxley and the others enrolled 18 of their children in two other East Side schools.

The Buffalo Common Council had the children sent back to the Vine Street African School and Moxley and the parents sued the Superintendent and the School Committee of the Common Council. The suit was thrown out of court. Eventually, the African American children were allowed to attend any Buffalo school and the Vine Street African School was closed.

Leggett was also said to have been a "beauty culturist" and a noted soprano in early Buffalo. She is said to have appered with Frederick Douglass whenever he appeared in Western New York.

She was married to George Leggett on May 20, 1869.
Together they had three daughters: Mabel, Grace and Larena. By the 1920 census Frances was listed as a widow. George died on September 2, 1917. Both are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.