1842–JANUARY 2, 1934
Hester C. Jeffrey was born in Norfolk, Virginia, around 1842. She was a suffragist and community organizer. After moving to Rochester, New York, with her husband Jerome in 1891, she became politically active, joining both the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Political Equality Club.
Jeffrey is best known for starting a number of clubs for Black women. In 1902, she founded the Susan B. Anthony Club for Colored Women, an organization that was involved both with charity work and with women’s suffrage advocacy. She also founded the Climbers, another organization for young African American women, and the Hester C. Jeffrey Club, which raised money for young Black women to take classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology (then known as the Mechanics’ Institute).
Jeffrey spent several years continuing to organize for women’s suffrage within New York’s African American community. She was the only Black woman chosen to speak at the funeral of her friend Susan B. Anthony. She died in 1934 around the age of 91.
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