Mrs. Sarah J. S. Garnet

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NYPL ID number: 1819714
Harry A. Williamson papers: additions, 1881-1962


Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Sarah Garnet was the oldest child of a large and prosperous Long Island family. A student in the New York public school system, at age fourteen she was appointed monitor under the supervision of John Peterson. Like Maritcha, she spent her entire career in education; she was the first black woman appointed principal of a Manhattan grammar school. She was briefly married to Henry Highland Garnet, but separated from him after a year of marriage.

Devoting herself to feminist causes, Sarah founded the Equal Suffrage Club in the late 1880s which she kept going until her death in 1911. At the end of her teaching career, she joined other women of her grade in the school system to fight for “equal pay for equal work.”


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“Mrs. Sarah J. S. Garnet,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,