Hallie Q. Brown

From Ohio History Central

Hallie Quinn Brown was an African-American author, educator, and equal rights advocate during the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.

Brown was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 10, 1845 (sometimes reported as 1849). Here, her parents, two former slaves, were active with the Underground Railroad. In 1864, the Brown family moved to Canada, and six years later, the Browns relocated to Xenia, Ohio, where Hallie Brown attended Wilberforce University, graduating in 1873.

Upon graduating, Brown moved to Mississippi, where she found employment as a teacher of African-American children. Eventually, Brown accepted a teaching position in the African-American schools of Columbia, South Carolina. In Columbia, she also served as a dean at Allen University, an historically black institution of higher education, from 1885 to 1887. From 1887 to 1891, she taught night school for African Americans in Dayton, Ohio. From 1892 to 1893, Brown worked at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

In 1894, Brown became active in the Civil Rights and Temperance Movements. She traveled across the United States of America and overseas, lecturing on these two movements. She even received an audience before Great Britain's Queen Victoria. She also participated in the World's Women's Christian Temperance Union (1895) and in the International Congress of Women (1899). Besides making speeches, Brown also helped found or lead several reform groups. In 1893, she became involved in the Colored Women's League of Washington, D.C. That same year, she helped establish the National Association of Colored Women. She served as president of this group from 1920 to 1924. Following her tenure as president, the organization appointed her as its honorary president for the remainder of Brown's life. Brown also became the American Methodist Episcopal Church's secretary of education in 1900.

During the late 1890s, Brown returned to Ohio. Here, she served as a professor at Wilberforce University and continued her reform efforts, helping organize the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, an organization that she served as president of from 1905 to 1912. She also actively campaigned for Republican presidential candidates, including fellow Ohioan Warren G. Harding. Over the course of her life, Brown authored several books, many of which detailed the plight of African Americans.

Brown died on September 16, 1949.

See Also


  1. Brown, Hallie Q. Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction. N.p.: Hallie Q. Brown, 1926.