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Metropolitan in Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Mother Mathilda Beasley, O.S.F.

Georgia's First Black Nun

 
 
Mother Mathilda Beasley, O.S.F. Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, March 2008
1. Mother Mathilda Beasley, O.S.F. Marker
Inscription.  Mathilda Taylor was born in 1834 in New Orleans, and came to Savannah as a young woman. She taught black children in her home before the Civil War, when it was still illegal. She married Abraham Beasley, a successful black businessman, in 1869. After the death of her husband in 1877, Mrs. Beasley journeyed to York England around 1885 to study as a nun, a Poor Clare, a branch of the Franciscan sisters. She returned to Savannah and established an orphanage in 1886 which became the St. Francis Home in 1892. In 1889, Sister Mathilda founded the first group of black nuns in Georgia which were of the 3rd order of St. Francis and became known as 'Mother Mathilda.' Under her direction, this small order ran the orphanage for several years until it dispersed, Mother Mathilda gained help from the Church for her orphanage and in 1899, took the habit of the Franciscans and continued working at the orphanage. In 1901, she was given a cottage near the Sacred Heart Church to which she had earlier given her husband's landholdings. She began to sew in her home and give the proceeds to poor blacks. On Dec. 20, 1903, the much beloved "Mother Beasley" was found
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dead kneeling in the cottage's private chapel. Nearby were her burial clothes, funeral instructions and will.
 
Erected 1988 by Georgia Historic Marker. (Marker Number 025-104.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionWomen. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1975.
 
Location. 32° 3.611′ N, 81° 5.955′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. It is in Metropolitan. Marker is on Bull St, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1707 Bull St, Savannah GA 31401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lawton Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Georgia Infirmary (approx. 0.2 miles away); British Evacuation (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Georgia Volunteer (approx. 0.3 miles away); Birthplace of Eighth Air Force (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Kiah House Museum (1959-2001) (approx. 0.4 miles away); Saint Phillips Monumental A.M.E. Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Nina Anderson Pape (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Savannah.
 
1707 Bull Street and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, March 2008
2. 1707 Bull Street and Marker
Home of the Mother Beasley Society, Sacred Heart Parish.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud, March 2008
3. Sacred Heart Catholic Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2023. It was originally submitted on March 7, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 4,561 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 7, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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May. 18, 2024