Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden papers, 1890s-1938

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Summary

Creator:
John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture
Abstract:
Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden were two Black women born in Lexington, K.Y. Anna Jean became a teacher, and Lillian became an accountant and important figure in the Indepedent Order of St. Luke. Collection includes event programs, photographs, clippings, and other material that document the education and social lives of both women, especially their involvement in the Black community. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.
Extent:
7.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes and 2 oversize folders)
Language:
Materials in English.
Collection ID:
RL.12018

Background

Scope and content:

Collection includes commencement and event programs, especially for musical events and society meetings, as well as diplomas for Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden. Also included are postcards, photographs of family and friends, clippings, publications, and other material related to the academic and social lives of Anna Jean and Lillian. Of particular note is a large, panoramic photograph showing the 1916 graduating class of Howard University. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Biographical / historical:

Anna Jean Snowden, a Black woman and educator, was born in Lexington, K.Y., to Walter and Maria Josephine Snowden. Recorded birth dates for Anna Jean range from 1890 to 1905. She lived with her parents and older sister Lillian in Lexington, and she attended Chandler Normal School, likely graduating in 1912. Anna Jean then attended Howard University while living in Dayton, Ohio, and she graduated with a B.S. and Teacher's diploma in Education from Howard in 1916. After graduating from Howard, Anna Jean taught at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama from at least 1917 to 1918, before moving to Richmond, V.A., to live with her sister Lillian. By 1930 Anna Jean had moved again, but it is unknown to where she relocated. Anna Jean passed away on July 25, 1996.

Lillian Snowden, Anna Jean's older sister, was born in Lexington, K.Y. to Walter and Maria Josephine Snowden. Like Anna Jean, Lillian's recorded birth dates vary, ranging from 1888 to 1902. Lillian attended Wilberforce University in Ohio and graduated in 1911 with a degree from Wilberforce's Commercial Department. Around this time, Lillian moved to Richmond, V.A., and began working as the home office auditor for the Independent Order of St. Luke. Lillian married Daniel Bazley in 1918 or 1919. Between her start at St. Luke and her death in 1936, Lillian received many promotions, eventually becoming the Right Worthy Grand Secretary and Acting Secretary-Treasurer after the death of Maggie L. Walker. Lillian passed away on December 18, 1936, in her home.

The Independent Order of St. Luke was a fraternal organization that provided a range of services and benefits to Black people. It was founded in 1867 by Mary Prout, a formerly enslaved woman, in order to provide its members with life, disability, and burial insurance. The Order also provided mortgages and educational loans, championed numerous humanitarian causes, and served as a social organization for its members. The Order officially disbanded in the 1980s.

Source: Independent Order of St. Luke Records finding aid (accessed July 8, 2022).

Acquisition information:
The Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a purchase from Caroliniana Rare Books in 2022.
Processing information:

Processed by Leah Tams, July 2022.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2022-0089.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Subjects

Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

Subjects:
African American women -- Education (Higher)
African Americans -- Photographs
Format:
Postcards
Black-and-white photographs
Programs (documents)
Names:
John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture
Snowden, Anna Jean
Snowden, Lillian
Places:
Tuskegee (Ala.)
Richmond (Va.)

Contents

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Restrictions:

Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the Rubenstein Library's Citations, Permissions, and Copyright guide.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Anna Jean and Lillian Snowden Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.