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Jackson, Rebecca Cox (1795-1871), itinerant preacher, religious writer, and Shaker eldress  

Jean McMahon Humez

Jackson, Rebecca Cox (15 February 1795–24 May 1871), itinerant preacher, religious writer, and Shaker eldress, was born a free African American in Horntown, Pennsylvania. According to sketchy autobiographical information, she was the daughter of Jane (maiden name unknown) Cox. No reference is made in her writings to her father, who probably died shortly after her birth. Rebecca Cox lived with her grandmother (never named) until she was between three and four years old, but by age six she was again living with her mother, who had remarried and was now called Jane Wisson or Wilson. Her stepfather, a sailor, died at sea the next year. At age ten, she was in Philadelphia with her mother and a younger sister and infant brother, the offspring, it seems, of a third marriage of her mother. Responsibility for caring for her younger siblings seems to have deprived Rebecca of the schooling her mother was somehow able to provide for the other children. Her mother died when she was thirteen, whereupon she probably moved into the household of her older brother Joseph Cox (1778?–1843), a tanner and clergyman eighteen years her senior....

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Van Cott, Maggie Newton (1830-1914), Methodist evangelist and preacher  

Sheryl A. Kujawa

Van Cott, Maggie Newton (25 March 1830–29 August 1914), Methodist evangelist and preacher, was born Margaret Ann Newton in New York City, the daughter of William K. Newton, an estate agent for John Jacob Astor, and Rachel A. Primrose. Her parents were Episcopalian, and she was confirmed in that denomination at age eleven. A year later, her younger brother died and the family began a series of moves, settling in Williamsburg, Long Island. Maggie gained an appreciation of Methodism from her maternal grandfather, who introduced her to prayers and hymns. In Williamsburg, the family lived near a Methodist church, and although she was forbidden to attend services there, Maggie would sit in the cupola of the house to overhear the singing....

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Willing, Jennie Fowler (1834-1916), evangelist, reformer, and church worker  

Joanne Carlson Brown

Willing, Jennie Fowler (22 January 1834–06 October 1916), evangelist, reformer, and church worker, was born in Burford, Canada West (present-day Ontario), the daughter of Horatio Fowler, a homesteader and participant in the Papineau Rebellion of 1837, and Harriet Ryan, the daughter of the founder of Canadian Methodism, Henry Ryan. The Fowlers settled in Newark, Illinois, following Horatio’s expulsion from Canada after the failure of the rebellion. Jennie was a sickly child and largely self-educated. Her first job was as a school teacher in Illinois at age fifteen....