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Mary Nelson

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Miss Mary Nelson is cited as one of two female teachers in the Vine Street African School, established for Buffaloâ??s colored residents in the 1860â??s. 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 suite was thrown out of court. The school struggled continued until xxx. (www.math.buffalo.edu )

We encourage anyone who has more information about the life of Mrs. Legget to submit a biography of her to the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc.