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Carr, Charlotte Elizabeth (03 May 1890–12 July 1956), social worker and reformer, was born in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of Joseph Henry Carr, a successful businessman, and Frances Carver. Carr developed an early sensitivity to problems of poverty and injustice, and when her parents insisted on her becoming a debutante instead of going to college she ran away and got a job in Pittsburgh. Her parents relented and enrolled her at Vassar College. Carr later said she learned little at Vassar; her higher education began in 1915 when she graduated and started “bumming around.” After serving as a matron in an Ohio orphan asylum Carr moved to New York, where she worked for the State Charities Aid Association and then for the New York Probation and Protective Association. Next came a stint as a policewoman, doing night patrols in the Brooklyn Bridge area. She then did personnel work at the American Lithographic Company and Knox Hat Company in New York (1921–1923) and at Stark Mills in New Hampshire (1923)....

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Ferguson, Katy (1779?–11 July 1854), child welfare worker and school founder, was born a slave on board a schooner en route from Virginia to New York City. Her formal name was Catherine Williams, but she was known as “Katy.” Separated from her mother at the age of eight after the woman was sold by their master, a Presbyterian elder, Katy never saw her mother again. Although she never learned to read or write, Katy was allowed to attend church services, and before she was sold, her mother taught her the Scriptures from memory. Katy was deeply religious and a strong adherent of the Presbyterian faith. At the age of ten she promised her master that she would dedicate her life to God’s service if given her freedom. This request was denied, but Katy eventually obtained her freedom; she was purchased for $200 by an abolitionist sympathizer when she was fifteen or sixteen years old. Originally she was given six years to repay this debt, but eventually her benefactor accepted eleven months of service and $100 from a New York merchant for her freedom. Thereafter, as a free woman, Katy supported herself by catering parties for wealthy white families and by cleaning linens and other delicate fabrics....