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Women's History Month

Posted on: March 4, 2022

Early 20th Century African American Women in Lansdowne

Womens History Month

Before 1910 most African American women who lived in Lansdowne were domestic workers who lived in the homes of well to do white families. But by 1910, women such as Margaret Hammond lived in their own homes. Margaret lived at 112 Bartram Ave. with her husband Bishop Hammond, who worked as a chauffeur for a "private family". 

Margaret was born in 1877 in Virginia. Her parents were born there as well, and may have been enslaved before the Civil War. In Lansdowne Margaret was busy keeping house on Bartram Ave., taking care of her son, 3 other family members, and a boarder. She and Bishop were both leading members of the AME Church, also located on Bartram Ave. In 1910 the Hammonds may have been the only African American family in Lansdowne who owned their house. Next door lived Catherine Stewart and her husband. By 1920 the Stewarts also owned their home, and most of the houses on Bartram Ave. were rented by or owned by African American families. 

We were not able to find any photographs of Margaret or her family, but perhaps someone knows more about the Hammonds and could share more on their story.

Credit: Thanks to Wendy Chmielewski for this submission

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