Wednesday, May 24, 2017

K.A. Ellis ― Ancestors on Mission: Maria Fearing (1838-1937)

WePreserve - On July 26, 1838, Maria (Ma-rye-ah) Fearing was born a slave near Gainesville, Alabama. As a house servant, she spent much of her time with her mistress and the other children. Though her owners taught their slaves the Presbyterian catechism, told them Bible stories and tales of missionaries in Africa, they refused to voluntarily free her.

After her legal emancipation in 1865, the newly freed family took the surname Fearing. At thirty-three years old she completed the ninth grade, had learned to read and write, and began working her way through the Freedman’s Bureau School in Talladega (Talladega College) to become a teacher. She taught for a number of years in the rural schools of Calhoun County, and purchased her own home.