History

Harriett Tubman was not only a fearless abolitionist, but she was also a suffragette. Photo courtesy of Visit Annapolis.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote; Annapolis Tours by Watermark created a tour to highlight these ground-breaking women. Complete with tour guides in period costumes, this singular event is for one night only: August 26th at 6 PM. The Women of Achievement walking tour will visit sites throughout Annapolis’ historic district associated with notable Maryland women as well as other remarkable women who played a role in our nation’s history.

Heroines for the Ages

Many of the women highlighted on the tour are icons who transcend the ages. Their work, their fight and their heart are what made their mark on the world. One of Maryland’s most famous pioneers is Harriet Tubman (1822-1913). She escaped slavery then dedicated her life to help other African Americans escape. She then spied for Union troops during the Civil War and eventually joined the women’s suffrage movement.

Clara Barton (1821-1912) was a nurse in the Civil War and founder of the American Red Cross. Clara spent time at Camp Parole in Annapolis during the end of the Civil War. Another famous Marylander and a pioneer in modern environmentalism, was Rachel Carson (1907-1964). Her book Silent Spring, led the fight to ban hazardous pesticides such as DDT. 

Rachel Carson blazed the trail for modern environmentalism. Photo courtesy of Rachel Carson Council.

Protecting the past is an important legacy. No one was more instrumental in protecting the history of Annapolis like Anne St. Clair Wright, (1910-1993). A longtime president of Historic Annapolis, Anne was a champion in the restoration of Annapolis’s 18th century buildings. Without her, our lovely historic town would not be where it is today.

Presentation of charter of Annapolis at the State House, February 1963, MSA SC 1890-1-30919 by Anne St. Clair Wright. Photo courtesy of theMaryland State Archives SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Marion E. Warren Photograph Collection)

Civil Rights and Suffrage

The Women in Achievement tour also follows the lives of significant women who fought for equality across the board. One such champion was Margaret Brent (1601-1671) who became the first woman to appear before a court of common law. A right not afforded to women of the day. She was the first female landowner in Maryland. As executor of the governor’s estate in 1647, she ensured soldiers were paid and fed to save the colony from mutiny.

Margaret Brent stands before the court, an act that was reserved for men only. A drawing courtesy of Wikipedia.

Edna Hooker’s (1879-1948) leadership in the suffrage movement focused on the importance of women’s rights in improving public health. Lavinia Engle (1892-1979) was elected to the House of Delegates and led the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Esther McCready, was the first black student at the UMD School of Nursing. Photo courtesy of Maryland Association of Nursing Students.

The battle for women’s suffrage and civil rights didn’t end with the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments. States continued to use discriminatory practices to block people of color from voting and acquiring higher education. Esther McCready (born in 1931) battled the courts to become the first black student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1950.

Maryland Patriots

Mary Digges Lee organized aid for the American Revolution. Photo courtesy of the Maryland State Archives.

Mary Digges Lee (1745 – 1805) was an American patriot known as the “First Lady of Maryland.”  She responded to George Washington’s plea for aid by collecting goods and money for the troops from colonists. Washington thanked Lee for the “patriotic exertions of the ladies of Maryland in favor of the army.” 

Anne Catharine Hoof Greene was the publisher of the Maryland Gazette upon her husband’s death. Photo courtesy of the Maryland State Archives.

Upon Jonas Green’s death in 1767, his widow, Anne Green (1720-1775); took over the publishing of The Maryland Gazette in Annapolis. A pioneer in any era, she became only the second female publisher in the colonies. Under Anne’s leadership, the newspaper boldly criticized British rule.

Anne publishes an announcement in The Maryland Gazette that she will run the newspaper. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

All of  these extraordinary women paved the way; however, the fight is far from over. Even more remarkable women will be featured on the tour August 26th. We pay tribute to their fearlessness, grit and perseverance- they truly are Women of Achievement.

( The fee for this walking tour is $18 for adults and $10 for children. To book your tickets for this exclusive tour, click here!)

Jane Green

Jane Green finally tired of her daily 100-mile round-trip commute to her federal government job as an expert on international issues and is now spending her days enjoying all that Annapolis and the surrounding area have to offer. Jane was raised in Indiana, receiving a B.A. in political science from Indiana University, but came east to earn a master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She and her family moved to Annapolis in 1986. An avid genealogist, Jane discovered that she was not the first of her family to live in Anne Arundel County—that honor goes to a 7th great-grandfather. Jane and her husband, Tom, have two children, both married, three grandchildren, two dogs, and two granddoodles. Tom is the founder and president of DesignAmerica, an aerospace software development company. Jane’s favorite things about living in Annapolis include gazing out at the Bay from her deck, exploring new restaurants and shops, and attending musical and historical programs.