Isaac D. and Amelia Freeman Shadd

Isaac (1838-1896), Amelia (1833-18?)

Isaac D. Shadd

Among the teachers listed, probably reluctantly, in The Vicksburg Herald newspaper, is a black principal and teacher named Mrs. Amelia F. Shadd. The F. appropriately is for Freeman, her maiden name, and her legacy. The years are 1873 and 1874, Reconstruction years, years of hope and a dream of education for freed people, so long denied. So many of the women and men toiling in these black schools only surface a few times in the newspaper and occasionally in a census record, then tragically sink back into the anonymity from which they emerged. Before 1850, they would have only been a single digit in a slave column headed "female, 10 and under 24" Several of these teachers were lucky and had husbands whose careers could not be ignored. They became public figures in the halls of government during this period of promise in the South. Amelia's husband was Isaac D. Shadd who, against all odds, became the Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives. From the combination of both Isaac's and Amelia's footprints, a convincing story of the lives of this truly remarkable couple can be pieced together. Fortunately, a few other women listed in the newspaper, such as Laura J. Cardoza, had prominent husbands that kept their names afloat, though it is the husband's history that, for the most part, survived.

Here I would like to tell you about the Shadds. We are lucky, as a result of his political career, to have a photograph of Isaac. As happens with so many people of color throughout our history, camera lens seem to be frozen closed when aimed in their direction. As one reads Amelia's story, your heart aches for a picture of her. To look in her eyes and see the intense dedication she felt for her community and her people could inspire us to continue the battle she fought, oh so many years ago. We however will find her story compelling enough to encourage us to finish her work.

The Shadds were in Chatham, Canada, when the Civil War ended. Being well-educated, they would have been able to find work in Canada or in the northern part of the United States. What did they do? They went south to help with the education of newly freed slaves and their children. I suppose many whites, then and now, would have called them "carpetbaggers." God bless the carpetbaggers, many of whom, like the Shadds, went south to rebuild a broken society and to fight to educate freedmen against violent pushback from most in the white community. The Shadds knew what dangers they would face, but they came anyway, along with many other dedicated blacks and whites, often with the support of the American Missionary Society.

Isaac D. Shadd's Family

Isaac D. Shadd's father, Abraham Doras Shadd, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on March 2, 1801. He was the grandson of a Hans Shadd and a free Black woman, Elizabeth Jackson. In 1775, Hans came to the United States from Hesse Kassel, Germany, as a soldier in the Hessian troops hired by King George III to reinforce the British troops in the French Indian War. He was wounded at Chads Ford and was nursed back to health at the home of Elizabeth Jackson. Hans married her daughter, also named Elizabeth. They had two sons, Hans and Jeremiah. Jeremiah Shadd, a cobbler, was the father of Abraham Doras Shadd.

Abraham Doras Shadd married Harriett Parnell from North Carolina. He fathered 13 children and earned a respectable living as a shoemaker, a trade he learned from his father. Abraham opposed the African Colonization Society for its support of Black deportation to Liberia. He believed that education, thrift and hard work would enable Black people to achieve racial equality. Shadd argued that Black Americans, as a result of their contributions in the building of the country, should be entitled to civil rights. Shadd conducted anti-slavery and Underground Railroad activities from his homes in Wilmington, Delaware and West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was a prominent historical figure whose accomplishments not only include a conductor on the Underground Railroad, he was also elected President of the National Convention for the Improvement of Free People of Color in 1833 and was an active participant in the founding of the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1853, he moved his considerable family and settled in the North Buxton area where he was the first black man elected to a political office (Counselor of Raleigh Township) in 1858 and he remained active in the Anti-Slavery Movement.

Abraham D. Shadd died on February 11, 1882, a very prominent and well-known man within Canada West and the abolitionist and civil rights movements of the 1800s. His prominence fostered a large funeral ceremony attended at Maple Leaf Cemetery by residents of Kent County, where he would be buried. In 1994, the road that traverses the heart of North Buxton was named A. D. Shadd Road in his honour. In 2009, Canada Post created a commemorative stamp, at left, featuring Abraham Doras Shadd, confirming his importance in Canadian history.





Isaac D. Shadd's Siblings

The successes of Abraham D. Shadd's children include: Mary Ann Shadd (1823-1893), educator, lawyer and journalist; I. D. Shadd, member of the Mississippi Legislature from 1871-74; Abraham W. Shadd, graduate of Howard Law School; Emaline Shadd, professor at Howard University.




Elizabeth Williams Shadd (1826–1870), sister of I. D. Shadd was born on January 10, 1826, in Wilmington, Delaware, to Harriet Burton Parnell, age 17, and Abraham Doras Shadd, age 24. Elizabeth Williams Shadd Shreve was a daughter of (19th century abolitionist) Abraham D Shadd and a younger sister of (educator and newspaper editor) Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Elizabeth was a circuit-riding (Baptist) missionary in the area of the fugitive slave settlement at Buxton in Ontario, along with raising a large family.


Isaac D. Shadd's brother, Abram (Abraham) W. Shadd was born in Pennsylvania or Ohio in 1844, of a free Black family known as active abolitionists. Abram Shadd was admitted to practice law in the state supreme court on March 25, 1872. His residence was listed as Chicot County, Arkansas, although he also practiced in Mississippi where he was the first Black attorney and became a well-known politician. His name does not appear as attorney of record in official Arkansas court records, and it is probable that he practiced very little law in Arkansas. After living in Canada with his family for several years as a young man, Abram W. Shadd taught school in Detroit prior to the Civil War. In the war, he served with the 55th Massachusetts Regiment, beginning as a private and ending with the rank of sergeant major. Shadd returned to Detroit after the war, where he had a photography business and studied law. Eventually, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he obtained an LL.B. degree from Howard University in 1871. After moving to Mississippi, Shadd practiced law in Washington County, owned a saloon, and was elected clerk of the circuit court. In December 1849, he worked with (future) Arkansas attorney Mifflin Gibbs at a Colored Citizens of Pennsylvania convention. Abram Shadd’s sister attended Howard University’s law school as its first woman student and graduated in 1883. In addition to fighting for the rights of Black people, Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a champion of women’s suffrage. Abram W. Shadd died in Mississippi in 1878.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary, An educator, an abolitionist, an editor, an attorney and a feminist. She was the eldest child of thirteen children born to Harriet and Abraham Shadd, established leaders in the free Black community. Her father was a key figure in the Underground Railroad and a subscription agent for William Lloyd Garrison's Liberator. As a child, she witnessed slavery and the dedication her family had to freeing slaves. After receiving an education from Pennsylvania Quakers, She devoted the first part of her life to abolition, working with fugitive slaves, and becoming the first African-American woman in North America to edit a weekly newspaper -- the Provincial Freeman, devoted to displaced Americans living in Canada. She then became a teacher, establishing or teaching in schools for Negroes in Wilmington; West Chester, Pa.; New York; Morristown, N.J.; and Canada. She was also the first woman to speak at a national Negro convention. During the Civil War, Cary helped recruit African-American soldiers for the Union Army. She then taught in Washington, D.C., public schools until, in 1869, she embarked on her second career, becoming the first woman to enter Howard University's law school. She was the first Negro woman to obtain a law degree and among the first women in the United States to do so. She then fought alongside Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton for women suffrage, testifying before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives and becoming the first Negro woman to cast a vote in a national election. As an educator, an abolitionist, an editor, an attorney and a feminist, she dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for everyone -- black and white, male and female. She married Thomas F. Cary of Toronto in 1856. They had two children, Sarah and Linton. They lived in Chatham, Canada where Mary worked at her paper and taught school. Thomas died in 1860. Extra Note: According to the National Park Service: "Mary Ann Shadd Cary died of stomach cancer in 1893. She was buried in Columbian Harmony Cemetery in Washington, DC. Located in the U Street Corridor, Shadd Cary’s brick row-house is a lasting reminder of her extraordinary civil rights activism and her defiance of societal constraints."

A most remarkable book has been written about Mary Ann Shadd Cary by Jane Rhodes, "Mary Ann Shadd Cary, The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century" copyright 1998, Indiana University Press. In this book we learn so much about the lives of freemen and freewomen before and after the Civil War and details of Issac's and Amelia's life in Chatham where they were associated with the Mary Ann's newspaper, "The Provincial Freeman." Dr Rhodes restores Mary Ann's too long ignored position as a traiIblazer in women's sufferage, journalisam, gender rights, black emigration, the law and so much more. I strongly recommend that you make the extra effort to find a copy. You will be richly rewarded. Dr. Rhodes is a superb writer and scholar.


Eunice P. Shadd, sister of Isaac Shadd, was born in 1848 in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada. She was one of 13 children born to Abraham D. Shadd and Harriet Burton Parnell, who were free African-Americans. Their eldest child, Mary Ann Shadd, became a prominent journalist and anti-slavery activist. Eunice Shadd left Canada and moved to Washington, D.C. to be with her siblings Mary Ann and Abraham. She enrolled in the Howard University Normal School in 1870 and graduated in 1872. Eunice Shadd taught public school, and then enrolled in Howard's medical program in 1875. At Howard, Eunice Shadd studied with Charles Purvis. she graduated from Howard University College of Medicine in 1877. That same year, she married Dr. Frank T. Lindsay, who had graduated from the Howard medical program in 1875. The couple then moved to Xenia, Ohio, where both practiced medicine. Eunice Shadd died on January 4, 1887 in Xenia.

Amelia Freeman Shadd

Amelia Freeman was born around 1833 and though there is a source that says the location was Kentucky, the majority of evidence points to Pittsburgh, Pennsyvania. The 1850 US Census lists her mother, Margaret Freeman, 40, Amelia, 16, and her sister, Adelaide, 11. Their home in 1850 is Philadelphia Dock Ward,  Philadelphia, PA. Others in the household are, Margaret Snyder, 30, Elizabeth Quigley, 20, Bridget Roseman, 50, and Rebecca Clark, 18. All are born in Pennsylvania except Quigley, Roseman and Clark who are born in Ireland. Quigley, white, later was a domestic in the home of a lawyer. In 1870, Amelia's mother, Margaret is living with William Freeman (age 60) in Philadelphia. The address of her post office is 2008 Winter St. They are renters in what is likely a rooming house.

1849 Oberlin student records list Amelia Freeman as being from Pittsburgh, PA. She was also a free black woman. By 1849, Freeman was attending Oberlin College as a student in the Ladies’ Preparatory department. record at right. She is also cited as having at some point been under the instruction of Rev. Charles Avery. After finishing her education at Oberlin (there is disagreement if she truly graduated or not), she was hired and worked as a teacher in Pittsburgh at Avery College and the Allegheny Institute in the early 1850s. She taught both art and music. Freeman also was listed as one of the attendees of the 1854 National Emigration Convention in Cleveland, OH. Here is a link to those proceedings. https://omeka.coloredconventions.org/items/show/314

At the conference there is also a Martin Freeman, whether he is related to Amelia is not known.  He was the son of Charles and Patience Freeman, In an 1861 Pittsburgh city directory, Martin H. Freeman is listed as an college instrructor at Avery College. His address is Boylenhill, Allegheny. Martin Henry Freeman graduated from Middlebury college in 1849. An entry from a Middlebury College documents reads, "He was born in Rutland, May 11, 1826 and "fitted: with Rev. Wm. Mitchell of Rutland. Since 1850 he has been Junior Professor in the Allegheny Institute, Pittsburgh, PA." In 1883, Middlebury College reports that Martin Henry Freeman is a Professor of Mathematics at Liberia College in Africa. In the 1860 US Census, Martin is married to Louisa Eleanor Peck Freeman and they have a new born daughter, Cora. He is still in Allegheny, PA, teaching at the college level. Martin died May 26, 1889 in Monrovia, Montserrado, Liberia. Here is a short biography of Martin Freeman.

"Martin H. Freeman (at right), Educator. He was the first African-American to become a college president in the United States. The salutatorian of Middlebury College's class of 1849, in 1850 he began work as a professor at Pennsylvania's Avery College. He was noted for his expertise in science and mathematics, and in 1856 he became president of the institution, the first African-American in the United States to achieve such distinction. He became active in the "Back to Africa" movement and moved to Liberia in 1864. Freeman served as a professor at Liberia College and became its acting president in 1885. He was appointed president shortly before his death."





We quote from an article by de Vera S., (2018) “‘We the ladies … have been deprived of a voice’: Uncovering Black Women’s Lives through the Colored Conventions Archive”, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 0(27). doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ntn.835 "As historians we may feel uncomfortable with reading nineteenth-century women through records of/about their husbands or other male relatives. As in the case of Julia Williams Garnet, Black male leadership often eclipses Black women’s labours. However, the Colored Conventions minutes allow us to see their dynamic activism as independent persons, which is why the CCP highlights their work in various stages of their lives.11 The 1854 National Emigration Convention in Cleveland broke ground as forty women attended as delegates (Fig. 1). Among them was Amelia Freeman, whom scholars often note only as the sister-in-law of Mary Ann Shadd, the first Black woman newspaper editor in North America. Historians often refer to her as Amelia Shadd and privilege her activism as a married woman. However, at the time of the Emigration Convention, Freeman had not moved to Canada or married Isaac Shadd.12 Her delegacy suggests that she had been active in the emigration movement even before her marriage. Rendered invisible in many abolitionist circles and women’s rights groups, Black women took a forefront role in the emigration movement."

Amelia's appears in 1856 in Chatham, Canada, where she is being considered as principal of a new school. The record says she is on the faculty of Avery College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia. She would have been 23 years old. She is hired by the board and begins growing a school population. From accounts in the newspaper, she is successful. Not only is she qualified in academic subjects, she is also providing students instruction in painting, drawing and music. It is in Chatham that Amelia Freeman meets and marries Isaac Shadd, editor of The Provincial Freeman newspaper. Isaac has a five-year-old son Charlton.

The website Clio has the following entry, "While teaching in Pittsburgh, Freeman came to know abolitionists Martin R. Delany, William King and William Still. The three men were said to have been so impressed with her work as a teacher that they asked her to take a position in Chatham, ON. She accepted and arrived in Canada in April of 1856 to open up the Chatham Mission School for black children. 

It was there that she was introduced to Issac D. Shadd, a black abolitionist and younger brother of famed anti-slavery activist Mary Ann Shadd. The two were married only a few months later and the couple was reported together in the 1861 Census of Canada. While in Chatham, the couple lived with Issac’s sister Sarah (a fellow teacher) and Issac’s brother, Garrison. The school 1859: 

“The school grew rapidly during the late 1850s and early 1860s, enrolling 259 day and evening students by 1864. Sarah M. Shadd, Mary Ann Shadd Cary and the latter’s stepdaughter, Ann Cary, periodically assisted Amelia Freeman Shadd in operating the institution.”

The school offered classes in philosophy, mathematics, music and history as well as private lessons from Freeman Shadd in things like art, music and embroidery. The school suffered from financial troubles (despite fiscal subsidies from different organizations and various fundraisers) throughout the 1860s. Freeman Shadd was reportedly forced to teach at local public schools in order to continue funding her own school. Amelia Freeman Shadd played a pivotal role in the Chatham community through things like organizing lecture series, literary circles, religious services and fundraisers. She was a contributor to the newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, even holding the position of temporary editor in 1857. She was also credited with forming a Literary Ladies Society in Chatham for women to ‘hear speeches and improv their minds’."

In the Semi Weekly-Mississippian, August 26, 1859, the following column appears. It is quite ironic that the Shadd mentioned near the end of the article in 15 years would be Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representative.


Shadds in Chatham, Canada

In 1874, an article appeared in the National Era, Washington DC. It says Honorable J. D. Shadd (error in first initial, should be I. D.) was son of Abraham Shadd, Esq born in Delaware. It notes I. D, Shadd's involvement with the underground railroad. It notes his siblings, Joseph Lee, Wm. Garrison, Abraham W. and Gerrit Smith and sisters, Mary A. , Elizabeth W. Harriet, Emeline, Amelia, Sarah, Ada, and Eunice. It mentions Abraham's family's move to Canada some years ago, in order to help escaping slaves. It says, his son, A. W. Shadd is a graduate of Howard Unviersity Law School and is "practitioners at the bar of the supreme court of the State of Mississippi. It say I. D. Shadd was born in 1837 in Wilmington, Delaware. He was reared in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He moved to Canada about the year 1854 and was for several years associate editor and publisher of the Provincial Freeman and subsequently engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1862, he visited CA and returned overland and spent three years on the frontier in Oregon, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Washington Territories; his travels were extensive among the mines of the territories. The paper say his adventures would be book worthy. He returned to Canada in 1865. and came to Mississippi in 1870, and was employed as a bookkeeper by B. T. Montgomery & Son at Davis Bend. He was the first representative from Jeff. Davis's old district, after reconstruction, being elected to the legislature in 1871, from the old plantation of the Confederate Chief. In 1871, he was chair of the House committee on Counties and County Boundaries. He was a member of the committee on Judiciary and Education. He was elected Speakership, successor to John R. Lynch. He had not sought the position. The article continues with high praise of his conduct as Speaker.

It is not known to me whether Amelia and Charton accompanied Isaac on his trip to the West which started in 1862. This would have been a rather arduous trip for Amelia and an 8 year-old stepson. She likely stayed and taught in Chatham where other Shadd family members lived.

Shadds in Mississippi

The Shadd's first recorded appearance in Mississippi is in the 1870 US Census. They apparently moved there in that year. They lived at Davis Bend, Warren County, MS in the housefold of H. T. and Virginia Montgomery. Isaac was employed as a bookkeeper by Montgomery. The following year Isaac was elected as the representative from that district to the Mississippi Legislature. In 1871, Isaac was chair of the House committee on Counties and County Boundaries. He was a member of the committee on Judiciary and Education. He was elected Speakership, successor to John R. Lynch. He had not sought the position.

During 1872-1874, Amelia Shadd appears a number of times as principal of a Warren County public school. January 2, 1872 Vicksburg Herald, "Jackson Road School - Mrs. L. J. Cardozo, Mrs. S. D. Tomlinson. A. M. E. Church - Mrs. Cummings, Mrs. Freedmau, Mrs. Spicer." They likely left off Shadd from Amelia's name. Another entry in the same edition says, "Amelia F. Shadd ........ $90 00." "November 2, 1873, the Vicksburg Herald reports, "Mrs. Amelia P.Shadd, Principal at School No. 3, reports 75 boys and 50 girls. Total 125 enrolled. She remarks that her school is constantly in numbers, many of tbe older children are now engaged in cotton picking being expected in during November." Amelia serves as Principal of School No. 8 on Cherry Street. (July 30, 1874 Vicksburg Herald). The Vicksburg Herald, 30 Aug 1874 reports, "School No. 3 Situated on Cherry Street; Teachers: Mrs. Amelia P. Shadd, Principal; Mrs. Annie A. Watkins, Miss Jennie Lynch, Miss Ophelia L. Smith, Mr. C. W. Marshall, Miss Rosa Small, Miss Hester Bell." (Thanks to Charles Bell for sharing some of this information.)

In January of 1874, The Clarion Ledger newspaper sent a reporter to Tugaloo University in Mississippi. The reporter visited several classes in the Normal School and observed. He writes "One youth, who we were informed, is a son of Speaker Shadd particularly attracted out attention. That boy wil be heard from in the not very distant future." This is, of course, Charlton T. Shadd, age 20.

In October 1874, The Vickburg Herald reports that Shadd and several other legislators sat down at what was called the ladies table at a train station "eating house." The paper is indignant that they also had been admitted to a sleeping car on the train. If true the paper urges boycott of the train line.

In January of 1875, Mississippi Governor Ames is reported to have "called on Grant for troops to rescue Shadd from the civil authorities. this is probaby in connection with his arrest on the charge of unlawful cohabitation.

In February of 1875 in Hinds County Circuit Court, House Speaker Isaac Shadd was charged with unlawful co-habitation with Fannie Crawford. Jury was impaneled on February 1, the next day the case was submitted to the jury and on February 3, the verdict of not guilty was rendered by the jury. This was very likely a harassment by white citizens who hated Isaac as evidence by the viscious articles in the Mississippi press. Shadd described it as a "put up job" to injure him politically. In October, an incident occurred which illustrates the danger that Shadd faced as a Black politician.

From the" Vicksburg Herald" October 14, 1875."Horrible Murder in Vicksburg, Three Colored Men the Victums". The inhabitants of Vicksburg were never more deeply shocked than yesterday morning when the announcement was made that three negroes had been shot on Tuesday night—one killed outright; one wounded mortally, and the other painfully, but not seriously. People gathered upon Washington street to discuss the precariousness of life and the safety and rights of law-abding citizens. There was a universal condemnation of the bloody acts, and a termination to carry out the law without fear, favor or affection, when sworn on the Holy Evangelists of the Almighty God, to render true verdicts. The first shooting took place in front of the house of Calvin Gibbs, on Cherry street, near the the bayou. Gibbs, I. D. Shadd and B. L. Hickman, we are told were standing near the house of Gibbs; three men approached and Shadd called off, when they commenced firing on the remaining negroes. Calvin Gibbs received one ball in the thumb, another in the lower part of the abdomen, the ball passing transversely across and coming out othr thigh; he also received a ball in the calf of his right leg. His wounds are not serious. Hickmann was shot in the lower part of the left shoulder-blade; the second shot entered about the middle of the back injuring the spinel and producing paralysis in his lover extremities. His condition was somewhat better last night but very little hope is entertained for his recivery. He made a statement yesterday in writing before the Mayor and others, which is to be made his death account of the tragedy." Later in the day three men showed up at the home of another Black man pon Jackson Street and finding him not home shot a Ben Johnson, a 20 year-old-black man and set fire to the house. The newspaper said, ""By some means not known yet, coal oil in the room was found to be on fire and Johnson's clothing and bedding and the wall so the room in flames." The Vicksburg Herall was an overtly racist newspaper and could not be trusted with accurate accounts of any events involving African-Americans. Calvin Gibbs a hackman, had been arrested previously for objecting to a saloon's refusal to serve ice cream to a colored woman in violation of her civil rights. So far I have found no newspaper reports of a trial.

In 1879, they are involved with the sale of school property owned by the Board of Missions. They then move to Greenville, MS where Isaac is a printer and Amelia teaches at two schools, Refuge (salary $230) and Harford (salary $180).

In the 1880 Indianapolis Leader, July 31, 1880, a small entry appears, "Mrs. Shadd, wife of Hon. I. D. Shadd ex-speaker of the House in Mississippi, is visiting friends and reatives at Xenia and Wilberforce. Having studied at Oberlin, she wanted her son, who is with her, to go there and prepare for the legal profession, but she has decided that Wilberforce is the place for him. She is very much surprised to find Wilberforce what it is, and after visiting the museum she excaimed to President Lee: "The half has not been told —Wilberforce is not known." Wilberforce, near Xenia, Ohio, was a college that was establishedin 1856 for African-American children. By 1860 the private university had more than 200 students. It is notable that most were from the South, the "natural" mixed-race sons and daughters of wealthy white planters and their enslaved African-American mistresses. The fathers paid for the educations that were denied their children in the South. The Civil War put an end to these students, causing a financial crisis. In 1863, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) decided to buy the college to ensure its survival.

In 1881, Isaac Shadd was a candidate for senator from Washington County, MS.

In January of 1883, Isaac D. Shadd has been appointed Route agent of the U. S. Mail Service on the Mississippi River between Memphis and Vicksburg The newspaper, The New Mississippian (Jackson, MS) wrote, "It will be remembered that Mr. Shadd is the same olive colored Shadd who was one time Speaker of the House of Representives."

In September 30, 1886, The Vicksburg Herald reported that Hon. I. D. Shadd of Washington county, was in the city. He was working in the interest of a Training School and Industrial College for colored children in the Mississippi Valley. The Industrial College has over a hundred studentss last year, and the outlook is hopefull for increased attendance this year. The students are taught industry as wel as literatur, and the College is designed to be of great benefit to the colored race.The paper points out that many colored youth of the State are being sent to distant institutions, but if the Training School and Industrial College is built up and properly sustained, that will be unnecessary in the future. The paper commends Mr. Shadd's philantropy.

In 1888, Isaac and Amelia execute deeds of trust in Washington County.

In 1889, Isaac Shade is elected to the Board of Alderman's in Greenville, he apparently would be serving a second term

March 21, 1896, Charlton T. Shadd married Nora J. Blackman, Washington County, MS.

From "The Daily Commercial Herald (Vicksburg, MS), March 25, 1896. On Sunday the 15th, the death of I. D. Shadd occurred, removing one of the best known figures among the prominent negroes of the reconstrction period. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1835, and his life was a remarkably checkered one. At one time he was editor of the Provinial Freeman, in Chatham, Ontario. Entering the United State postal service he came South and at once took a high place among the followers of Adelbert Ames (a governor of Mississippi) occupying at one time the high position of speaker of the house of representative. He was afterwards a member of the board of aldermen of the city of Greenville, and after the revolution of 1875 organized the Shadd Training College in this city, of which he was president but with time's changes, he disappeared from public notice. At his death he stood high in colored Masonry, being Grand Master of the order F. an and A.A. Y. for the State. He was a brother of J. D. Shadd (correction-A. D. Shadd) who was at one time chancery clerk of this county. —Greenville Times."

I contacted the Mississippi Archives looking for pictures of I. D. Shadd and also the members of the legislature the years he was Speaker. They have NO record! The archivist agreed with me that such a distinguished contributor to the history of Mississippi is missing from their files is most unusual. It is highly likely, IMHO, that they were intentionally purged immediately after Reconstruction ended. Any information related to this woudl be much appreciated.


Sources of Information;

1850 US Census has an Amelia Freeman age 16 with mother Margaret Freeman age 40 and sister Adelaide Freeman age 11. She is likely born in Pennsylvania.

1851 Charlton Shadd born Canada, evidence 1870 U. S. Census. Charlton is likely the son of Isaac Shadd, but not Amelia Freeman Shadd. He is born before Amelia meets Isaac.

1854 Charlton Shadd born Canada, evidence from Freedmen Bank application. the 1854 date is likely accurate.

1856 May, Isaac Shadd's name appears on the cover of The Provincial Freeman with two others as Editors. Mary Shadd (married George P. Cary) had been an earlier editor with Rev. William P. Newman following her.

1856 March 1. Amelia Freeman appears in Chatham, Canada. From The Provincial Freeman, "An Address was delivered by Dr. M. R. Delany, in the Rev. H. J. Young's Church, on Wednesday evening. The house was crowded with anxious hearers, of whom seemed delighted with his very eloquent and instructive remarks. The character and qualification of Miss Freeman, of Avery College of Pennsylvania, were most beautifully portrayed by the doctor; after which, a vote of the audience was taken, to solicit Miss F. to visit Chatham–which was unanimously carried.

1856 March. From The Provincial Freeman, "Miss Amelia Freeman, a Professoress of the Avery College of Pittsburgh, PA., has arrived in Chatham (Canada). The paper expects that she should be given "a hearty welcome" in this district for she proposes to give "instruction in painting, drawing, music, writing, etc,... which are necessary and useful accomplishments for both ladies and gentlemen' The community must have provided her with sufficient pupils, for her school was thriving a year later. Source: "The Journal of Negro History" Vol. 44, No. 2 (Apr., 1959), pp. 123-135 (13 pages) by Alexander L. Murray, U. of London.

1856 May 17, There is a pubic meeting in Chatham to discuss the "Select School for Children" by Miss Freeman and Mrs. Armstrong.

1858 September, I. D. Shadd and a large crowd of sympathizers assembled at the train station in Chatham after a telegraph from Sen Elijah Leonard alerted them that a Southern white man would be passing through on The Great Western train. The man would be accompanied by a black boy who was his slave.. At the London train station he had boasted about the price the boy would bring in the South. When the train stopped, a group of men, including I. D. Shadd rushed the car and took the boy. The authorities at the station refused the demands of the man to give the child back. I. D. Shadd (of Rayleigh Township) took care of the boy until eventually his mother was found in Pennsylvania. The boy could dance and the white man was collecting money from his performances. Shadd and others were fined for their actions, however money was collected to help with the fines.

1858 John Brown and 12 of his white followers leave Kansas and come to Chatham, Canada, arriveing April 30, 1858. He had conceived a plan of establishing himself in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia; with his small band of black and which militia, he planned to harass the plantations by raiding them to free their slaves, using his mountain hideout as a basis for operations.The Negroes thus freed would constitute a colony which would assist in freeing more Negroes. Brown felt that the result would be so demoralizing for the slave-owners that slavery would naturally disappear. This was the kernel of the conspiracy laid at the Chatham Convention. The first place this dedicated band visited was the office of the local Negro newspaper, The Provincial Freeman. Likely the first man whom they met would have been the editor, Israel D. Shadd (whose first name we have is Isaac.) The Provincial Freeman was housed in a two-story, white brick tenement which until 1951 stood just beyond the C.P.R. Station at the railroad crossing which intersects Williams Street North. The first meeting was held on 8 May, 1858, in the small, frame Negro school on Princess Street. (Could this have been Amelia's school?) When the John Brown's papers were revealed during his trial, prominent Chatham Negroes that were included were Israel D. Shadd and Thomas F. Carey, husband of Shadd's sister Mary Ann. . Only Osborne Anderson (at right) followed Brown to Harper's Ferry. A legend associated with Osborne is. Israel Shadd felt doubtful about Brown's fantastic scheme, he decided that someone from his office shoul be representative. When they drew lots, the privilege fell to Osborne Anderson (1830–72), a twenty-eight year old, printer's devil, born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He had attended Oberlin College. He likely knew Amelia Freeman and followed her to Chatham. He later served in the Union Army.(Source for this material, The History of the Negro Community in Chatham, Ontario, 1787–1865) by John Kevin Ahnthony Farrell.)

1861 Census
Amelia Freeman Shadd, Canada Census 1861 28 years old, birth 1833 School Teacher Church of England
Isaac D. Shadd, Canada Census 1861 23 years old, birth 1838 Printer Church of England

In 1886, Charlton T. Shadd is active in Republican politics in Washington County, MS.

Amelia Freeman Shadd in Mississippi

Amelia Freeman was born around 1833 and though there is a source that says the location was Kentucky, the majority of evidence points to Pittsburgh, Pennsyvania.

1870 US Census: Amelia Shadd, Davis Bend, Warren, MS. Black Teacher about 40. Birthplace KY child, Charlton, age 19, born 1854 . They are in the household H. T. and Virginia Montgomery.

January 1873, I. D. Shadd, Freedmen's Bank account: Born Delaware, Where brought up: Pennsylvania. 35 years old (b. 1838) Wife: Amelia F. Shadd, Children: Charlton. Father: A.D. Shadd, Mother; Harriet Shadd. Residence; Vicksburg

1873 Freedman's Account: Charlton Shadd, born Canada, 19 years old, (1854) occupation: attends school. Father I. D. Shadd, Mother Amelia F. Shadd

1874 article in the National Era, Washington DC. Says Honorable J. D. Shadd (error in first initial) was son of Abraham Shadd, Esq born in Delaware. It notes I. D, Shadd's involvement with the underground railroad. It notes his siblings, Joseph Lee, Wm. Garrison, Abraham W. and Gerrit Smith and sisters Mary A. , Elizabeth W. Harriet, Emeline, Amelia, Sarah, Ada, and Eunice. It mentions Abraham's family move to Canada some years ago, in order to help escaping slaves. It says, his son, A. W. Shadd is a graduate of Howard Unviersity Law School and is "practitioners at the bar of the supreme court of the State of Mississippi. It say I. D. Shadd was born in 1837 in Wilmington, Delaware. He was reared in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He moved to Canada about the year 1854 and was for several years associate editor and publisher of the Provincial Freeman and subsequently engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1862, he visited CA and returned overland and spent three years on the frontier in Oregon, Nebraska, Colorao, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Washington Territories; his travels were extensive among the mines of the territories. The paper say his adventures would be book worthy. He returned to Canada in 1865. and came to Mississippi in 1870, and was employed as a bookkeeper by B. T. Montgomery & Son at Davis Bend. He was the first representative from Jeff. Davis's old district, after reconstruction, being elected to the legislature in 1871, from the old plantation of the Confederate Chief. In 1871, he was chair of the House committee on Counties and County Boundaries. He was a member of the committee on Judiciary and Education. He was elected Speakership, successor to Joh R. Lynch. He had not sought the position. The article continues with high praise of his conduct as Speaker.

October 5, 1873 Amelia Shadd listed as Principal in School 3, Vicksburg

August 15, 1874 Amelia Shadd listed as Principal in School 3, Vicksburg

September 5, 1874 Amelia listed as Principal in School 3, Vicksburg

November 2, 1873 in Vicksburg Herald,. Mrs Amelia F. Shadd, Principal of School. No. 3, reports 75 boys and 50 girls. Total 125 enrolled. She remarks that her schoool is constanly increasing in numbers, many of the older children now engaged in cotton picking being expected in during November.

July 17, 1874 Amelia Shadd listed as Principal in School 3, Vicksburg

June 18, 1875, The National Republican in Washington D.C. announces the graduates of Howard University. Furman J. Shadd is valdictorian and received a Bachelor's of Arts degree. In 1887 he is on the medical faculty of Howard University. In 1894 he is a gynecological physician at Freedmen's Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Still practicing is 1897. Obit says born in 1852 in Washington, DC. Married Alice M. Parke Dec 26, 1882. , Has son, Furman Julien Shadd, who also becomes a physician, born 1885 and died 1929. Graduated from Howard Medical School in 1907.

1876, A. W. Shadd, Isaac's brother is Chancery Court Clerk in Greenville, MS.

1879 The Vicksburg Herald announces a Commissioner's Sale. No. 1360-The Board of Missions to the Freemen vs. Amelia M. Shadd and I. D. Shadd, her husband. "Pursuant to a decree of the Chancerry Court of Warren county, State of Mississippi, rendered on the 13th day of December, AD, 1878, in the case of The Board of Missions, to the Freedmen vs. Amelia F. Shadd and I. D. Shadd, her husband, numbered 1320, on the docket of said Court, the undersigned Commissionner of said Court, will on Monday, 16th day of February, 16. AD. 1879 at the east corner of the Court House hold a public auction.

January 18, 1879, The Weekly Democrat-Times (Greenville, MS) list Mrs Amelia F. Shadd teaching in two schools: Refuge (salary $230) and Harford (salary $180).

1880 I. D. Shadd US Census, Greenville, MS. Age: about 40. Birth Delaware. Father's birthplace Delaware, Mother's birthplace: North Carolina. Profession: printer. Street Washington Avenue. Black

1884 Tax Sale of property owned by I. D. Shadd, Part lot 3 Glass Tract. Two others, J. J. Priel heirs and Mary Wyman are also owners. Shadd owes $29.

March 21, 1896, Marriage Charlton T. Shadd to Nora J. Blackman, Washington County, MS.

1900 Charlton Shadd, US Census. Black, Born June 1869 age 30. Widowed, Born Canada. Father born England, Mother born Canada, Immigration year 1896, Typesetter. High questionable data. Living in Canton, MS on Center Street
























Acknowledgements: I am indebted to so many sources for the material in this tribute to the Shadds. As I gleaned it from so many sources, I have been derelict in not keeping track of them. I apologize for failing to reference everyone. I will be happy to add a reference to anything included here if you will email me at oakes@physics.utexas.edu.


Shadd Documents

Isaac D. Shadd
Raleigh Township Centennial Museum
21975 A. D. Shadd Road
North Buxton, ON N0P1Y0


Abraham William Shadd, brother of I. D. Shadd
55th Massachusetts Regiment

Mississippi Legislature 1874-75
Speaker I. D. Shadd, No. 1.
Top Row 4th from left