Blunt Rochester Introduces Resolution to Honor Delaware Abolitionist, Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Washington, February 26, 2020 | Andrew Donnelly (202-225-4165)

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) introduced H.R. 5972, the Mary Ann Shadd Cary Post Office Dedication Act, to designate the post office at 500 Delaware Ave Suite 1, Wilmington, Delaware 19801, as the “Mary Ann Shadd Cary Post Office.”


“I am excited and honored to introduce this resolution dedicating a post office in the City of Wilmington to Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a pioneer and leader in both the abolitionist movement and the women’s suffrage movement,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “So many of us stand on the shoulders of women who came before us like Mary Ann, and it is my honor to introduce this bill to help preserve her memory and legacy.”


This Black History Month and on the centennial of women’s suffrage, H.R. 5972 honors a key Delaware figure in the suffragist movement. Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a staunch advocate for women and a prominent abolitionist. In Washington, D.C., where Shadd Cary spent the later years of her life and became the second African American woman ever to earn a law degree in the United States, her home is designated as a National Historic Landmark. In Canada, there is a statue memorializing her. However, in Delaware, the state of her birth, there is no building or landmark dedicated to this pioneer. This bipartisan legislation would finally honor her legacy in Delaware.


Among her many accomplishments, Shadd Cary helped establish the Provincial Freeman, a weekly newspaper based out of Canada, committed to racial and gender equality, thus becoming the first female African American newspaper editor and publisher in North America. During her later life, Shadd Cary was active in the women’s suffrage movement and advocated for the inclusion of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution.


The Mary Ann Shadd Cary Post Office Dedication Act would:

• Designate the post office on 500 Delaware Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19801 as the “Mary Ann Shadd Cary Post Office”

• Any reference in law, maps, regulation, documents, or other official records of the United States will refer to the facility as the “Mary Ann Shadd Cary Post Office”


The full text of the bill can be found here.



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