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Celebrating Naomi Anderson

This project received support from a Preserving Women’s Legacy Grant, a program of the Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial presented by Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs through funding from the state of Indiana.


THE CHICAGO CONVENTION. A COLORED WOMAN’S VOICE.” The Revolution, 4 March 1869, p 139.   Begins: “The colored women, of all other American women, should be devoted to the cause of Suffrage.  One appeared in the recent Chicago Convention to the following effect:”   Naomi Anderson’s speech at Chicago Women’s Rights Convention, March 1869, in the Chicago Public Library Meeting Hall:  “I present myself to you as a composition of humanity, for there flows through my veins a combination of the blood of four distinct nations, of which the greater part is Dutch, part Indian, part African and the lesser part Irish.  I am an American, because here I was born....Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton, with their high moral and intellectual power, have shaken the states of New England, and the shock is felt here today….and soon the whole world will be awakened to a sense of the value and importance of our cause”.

“Male vs Female Suffrage. Letter from a Colored Lady,” Chicago Tribune, 8 March 1869, p 4.    Letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune….“A few words to colored male citizens...I am a strong advocate of woman’s suffrage...and I say that you who have ever been oppressed, you who are clamoring for your rights, should be the last ones to oppose universal suffrage...”

Wichita Daily Eagle, 27 May 1884.   “Mrs. Naomi Anderson, a colored lady in this city, is a professional hairdresser, and will hold herself in readiness to arrange the coiffures of a number of ladies on ball and other society occasions.  Mrs. A. is a very bright and intelligent woman.”

Wichita New Republlc, 4 Dec. 1884, p. 5.  “Naomi Anderson has drawn on silk a beautiful map of Sedgwick was sent to the World Exposition at New Orleans, along with original poems printed on cardboard.

The Wichita Globe, 12 May 1887.  Naomi Anderson is baptized.

“W.C.T.U. Echoes,” Wichita Beacon, 26 Nov 1887 p 4.  Report of WCTU meeting. Naomi Anderson was elected Chairman.  She stated “The shackles of slavery were broken by the hand of Abraham Lincoln. It now remains for the colored people to free themselves from the shackles of intemperance.”

“W.C.T.U. Notes,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 29 Nov. 1887, p. 5.  Naomi Anderson is elected president of Colored Temperance Association.

Wichita Beacon, 17 Nov 1888.  W.C.T.U. two-day convention of Sedgwick County Temperance Union.  Naomi Anderson led discussion “How Shall We Interest Our Colored Sisters?”

Wichita Eagle Nov. 23, 1888 page 5.     In a WCTU Meeting Report, “Mrs. Naomi Anderson represented the interests of the colored sisters in an able paper.  She showed that the wisdom of the ages had not by any means been confined to the white race, and that at the present day many of "sable hue" were in every respect the peers of those of the "paler shade".   Still, owing to the terrible curse of slavery which so long overshadowed them, the colored women were greatly in need of well-directed assistance till they could be brought to see eye to eye and stand shoulder to shoulder with the white women in this work for temperance and social purity.”

Our Messenger (Topeka, KS), 1 Dec. 1888.   Naomi Anderson is endorsed by W.C.T.U. to represent and speak for them. Contact NA for terms for speaking terms at 817 S. Water Street Wichita KS.

“Mr. Whitman’s Reception,” The Democrat, 20 April 1889. Poet Albery Whitman was introduced by Naomi Anderson.

Our Messenger (Topeka KS) 1 June 1889, p. 3.  Report of Sedgwick County WTCU Convention. Naomi Anderson reported that “colored people are fast drifting into habits which it will be very hard to combat in a few years, but which might be arrested now.”

Wichita Star, 10 March 1890, p. 1.    Transfer of real estate from Naomi Anderson to BF McLean.   (also in Wichita Daily Eagle, 10 Mar 1890 p 1.)

Colored Mass Meeting,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 20 January 1891, p 5.   Naomi Anderson was one of the delegates elected unanimously by the Wichita A.M.E. Church to represent A.M.E. at the state convention in Topeka, KS, “where the church will exert every honorable means to prohibit discriminating school legislation”.

“No Division Wanted,” Wichita Beacon, 20 January 1891, p. 4.  Mass meeting in Wichita, Naomi Anderson elected delegate to convention.

Kansas City Star, (Wichita, KS), Jan 24 1891.   (Same article as Wichita Daily Eagle, 20 January 1891, p 5.)

Wichita Beacon, 11 Dec. 1891, p. 4.   Naomi Anderson is suing the city for personal injury.

Sumner City Standard  (Wellington, KS)  28 Jul 1892 p. 12  “African Americans’ grandest woman”  will give lecture titled  “Justify Your Daughters”.  

Appeal for the Black Lambs,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 22 Nov 1892, p 5.     Letter to the Editor from Naomi Anderson, President of Colored Children’s Home - appeal for the Black Lambs and city-wide food donations at Thanksgiving.

“The Colored Children’s Home,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 24 January 1893, p. 5. Report of the Board meeting of the orphanage at which Naomi Anderson was elected president. “The past year has been filled with trials and difficulties. We had only $75.00 to spend on food for the entire year.  The building is old and cold, and the landlord will not make repairs.”

Kansas Saturday Evening Commoner, 3 Aug. 1893.   How Emancipation Day was celebrated.

Western Methodist, 19 August 1893.  Emancipation Day address and Columbia Poem.

“Sat Down on Boyd,” Wichita Eagle, 19 Dec. 1893, p.5.  Naomi Anderson could see nothing practicable in his plans to segregate public schools.

Mrs. Anderson Objects,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 23 Dec 1893, p 5.  Naomi Anderson defends herself against gross misrepresentations by Mr. Boyd, published in the last issue of The Eagle.   Additionally, on the school segregation issue, Naomi Anderson stated:  “I am opposed to separate schools, churches, barbershops or separate anything else that makes us a separate people. I do not believe that a people amalgamated as we can be a separate people. We are bone and flesh of every nationality of white men in America, and we have no more right to denounce our white fathers than we have to denounce our black mothers; and we are the sons and daughters of some of the wisest and best men who ever sat in the legislative halls of this country.  Therefore, I believe that it be for the best good of my class of people to fight down all color lines.  It is their indispensable duty to do so; educate their children, fit them for the best positions in life, and then wait patiently.”   

Wichita Daily Eagle, 30, Jan. 1894, Civil docket of jury cases, Naomi Anderson vs. City of Wichita.

“Notice.” Winfield Daily Courier (Winfield, KS), 12 May 1894.  Naomi Anderson delivered lecture last evening on Women’s Suffrage.   “She is a lecturer of national reputation. She has a pleasing and convincing manner – is a lady, cultured and refined, with a well-informed mind and a retentive memory. She read an original poem and gave a recitation for amusement of the young people.  May success crown her efforts, and may it be our privilege to hear her again in the near future.”

“Will Speak for Suffrage,” Kansas City Gazette, 11 August 1894, p.1.  Naomi Anderson will address suffrage movement.  Good music has been secured for the program.

“Pops and the Negroes,” Kansas City Gazette, 13 August 1894.   “Mrs. Naomi Anderson spoke at a meeting on suffrage but some populists at the meeting advised blacks to vote populist...  Naomi Anderson took issue stating that every branch of organized labor is against black men and will not allow them to join unions, and the populists support unions.” 

“Populists Roasted,” Kansas City Times, 14 August 1894.  Report on Naomi Anderson’s suffrage lecture at Opera House.  “She had little to say for Populists – among the things she said: “We are not colored people.  We are Americans and nothing more.  If we were colored we would have to be dipped in a paint pot and colored. We are neither Negroes, colored people or African Americans. We are Americans. We are not God’s people if we feel race prejudice. I have studied the race question since I was nine years old…. you cannot vote for Populists unless they open their organizations to you.”

“A Noted Speaker.” Emporia Gazette, (Emporia KS) 15 Aug 1894, p 4.   Naomi Anderson will address the colored people this evening. (Then quotes from an article in Kansas City Journal).

Emporia Daily Tidings (Emporia KS), 15 Aug 1894.   “Will give free suffrage addresses.”

Emancipation Day,” The Topeka State Journal, 21 Sept 1894, Night Edition, p 5. Plans for Emancipation Day celebration. Naomi Anderson will speak at the park after the parade.

Daily Tidings, (Emporia, KS), 30 Sep. 1894, p.1.    Naomi Anderson will speak at Methodist Church on “Women and the Race.”

Patriotic Colored Women Form a Ladies of the G.A.R. Circle,” Wichita Daily Eagle, 2 Jan 1895, p 5.   A circle of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic was organized in Wichita, composed of the wives, daughters, mothers and sisters of the colored ex-soldiers of the late war.   Naomi Anderson was inducted into the order, as her brother served and died in Company I,3,U.S.C. She was elected Senior Vice President, and Delegate to department convention.

Western Methodist (Wichita KS), 2 May 1895, p 8.  “The Solution of the Race Problem”  one of most talented women…won some notoriety

Wichita Times and Livestock Journal, 4 May 1895.   Naomi Anderson will deliver lecture on The Solution to the Race Question at Garfield Hall.  Proceeds of the lecture will be donated to the Charles Robinson Circle of Ladies of the G.A.R.

"Mrs. Naomi Anderson’s Lecture,” Wichita Star, 1 June, 1895. 

“Wants a New Name,” The Evening Bee, (Sacramento, CA) 11 December 1895, p. 7.  Naomi Anderson lectures and sees a “solution to the race problem by using term “Americans of color.””  Makes several Biblical references.  “Her race is weighed down by the name Negro, which means inferior as well as black.”

The Suffrage Convention,” The Record Union (Sacramento), 31 May 1896.  State Suffrage Association Convention.  First paper was read by “Mrs. Naomi Anderson, the colored suffrage-evangelist, who states “the daughters of today want the ballot because it is power and will give them social equality.”  Miss Anna Shaw was keynote speaker.

“A Colored Lady Orator.” San Francisco Call, July 23, 1896.   “Mrs. Naomi Anderson Is to Lecture Here on Woman Suffrage.  Miss Anthony Will Speak Today in Oakland at the Salvation Army Mass Meeting. “   “Visitors to the Woman Suffrage Bureau are daily more numerous.   Miss Naomi Anderson, an eloquent colored orator and an ardent apostle of the cause, will lecture in San Francisco every night this week and in Oakland the week following, after which she will commence a lecture tour of the interior.”

San Francisco Examiner,  23 July 1896 p 14 . “Naomi Anderson is organizing suffrage all over San Francisco”.

“A Colored Disciple of Susan B. Anthony,” San Francisco Examiner, 26 July 1896,  p.11.   Naomi Anderson was engaged by State Suffrage Association to lecture throughout California.  Excellent bio includes at Chicago Convention “African American men resented her call of women’s suffrage before African American men had suffrage”.  Also, “prominent in Kansas Campaign two years ago, and the 1880 campaign in Ohio.  She has started several orphanages” ….born in Michigan City, Indiana and educated in its public schools.  She is an eloquent speaker, but never studied elocution or received any training.”

“A New Apostle to the Negroes,” San Francisco Call, 26 Jul 1896, p 10.   Lengthy article prior to her six-week lecture tour, very complimentary.  “A long lecture tour to commence here…a woman of commanding presence” including Naomi Anderson quotes “If I can serve the cause I love, I ask no greater happiness”. 

San Francisco Call, 28 July 1896 p 7.  “Naomi Anderson and Susan B. Anthony spoke at a suffrage meeting of colored folks last night”. (Same article as San Francisco Chronicle, 28 July 1896, p. 09.)  

“Colored Women Want Suffrage,” San Francisco Chronicle,  28 July 1896, p 09. “COLORED WOMEN WANT SUFFRAGE.  THEY PASS RESOLUTIONS.  MEETING ADDRESSED BY NAOMI ANDERSON. MISS ANTHONY ALSO MAKES A SPEECH. An Unconvinced Auditor”.    Naomi Anderson spoke on “Colored Women Want Suffrage” along with Susan B. Anthony at Sacramento Church. (hard to decipher)

San Francisco Call, 30 July, 1896 p. 7.  “Mrs. Naomi Anderson is achieving good results at Women’s Suffrage Bureau.”

“A Colored Female Orator,” Chicago Chronicle, 3 Aug. 1896, p. 10.  Will stump for female suffrage in California.  Includes sketch.

For Woman Suffrage”, The Topeka State Journal (Topeka, KS) 05 Aug 1896, p 8. “A Colored Woman Doing Good Work in California”.  Chicago, Aug. 5. - The first woman’s rights convention ever held in the west assembled in this city in 1869. Among those who took an active part in that gathering was Mrs. Naomi Anderson, a colored woman.  Ever since then she has labored in the cause...she began her campaign work in California last week.”

San Francisco Call  6 Aug 1896. Naomi Anderson lectures in Oakland, much interest in…. and article below this about Susan B Anthony.

“Suffrage Workers,” Los Angeles Record, 11 Aug. 1896, p.3.  Naomi Anderson to assist the campaign for women’s suffrage. She is in Los Angeles as a delegate to the Afro-American Congress Convention.

Afro-Americans,” Los Angeles Evening Express, 12 Aug 1896, p. 1.  Report on Afro- American Congress in Los Angeles.  

“A Lively Day. Disputatious Delegates at the Afro-American Congress,”  Los Angeles Times, 13 Aug 1896, p 9.     The Afro-American Congress Convention in Los Angeles, “formally announced the presence in the room of Mrs. Naomi Anderson.”  She received a standing ovation and was conducted to a place on the platform.

“Slate’s Ready,” Evening Express, (Los Angeles), 14 Aug 1896, p 1. Report of Afro-American Congress Convention held in Los Angeles August 1896, including “Mrs. Naomi Anderson who is in the South in the interests of the Suffrage cause, spoke a few words with the consent of the convention, opposing the word Afro-American.  She believed in plain American citizenship.   Quite a discussion followed her remarks.”

“Colored Woman Suffragists,” The Gazette, (York, PA) 23 August 1896.   Report of Naomi Anderson’s suffrage campaign in California, with sketch.  Expands on Kansas Democrat article of 29 October 1896.

“Mrs Anderson Leads Her Race in the Fight for the Ballot” Buffalo Evening News, 25 Aug 1896.   “Mrs Anderson leads her race in the fight for the ballot in California” plus sketch of Naomi Anderson.

Wichita Daily Eagle, 28 Aug 1896, p 4.   “Mrs. Naomi Anderson, the colored lady of Wichita, is leading the Equal Suffrage campaign in California.  We always told you Mrs. Lease wasn’t our entire stock of that brand.”

Akron Beacon Journal, 17 October 1896.   Report of Naomi Anderson’s suffrage campaign in California, with sketch.

“A Colored Woman on the Stump,” Kansas Democrat (Hiawatha, KS), 29 Oct 1896, p 2.   Report of Naomi Anderson’s suffrage campaign in California, with sketch.      “The campaign of the woman suffragists goes merrily on in California.  The latest feature of the fight of the women in that state for full franchise is an attempt to stir up the colored women.   Mrs. Naomi Anderson has charge of this part of the work.  She is a matronly looking colored woman who has been for years identified with the suffragists, and she possesses a natural gift of oratory that has made her work particularly effective in the past and valuable in the present.  Mrs. Anderson has been engaged by the California State Suffrage association to stump the state.   Mrs. Anderson is a resident of Sacramento.  She was the first colored woman to advocate suffrage for her sex, having spoken at the first women's rights meeting that was held in the west.   (See also Akron Beacon Journal, 17 October 1896 for same article.)

Sentinel (Carlisle, PA), 4 Nov 1896 p. 4. Article about California suffrage movement – Naomi Anderson was engaged to stump the entire state of California.

“Sewing Women are Acting in Harmony,” San Francisco Call  25 July 1898 p 7. Report of progress of directors of newly incorporated Women’s Sewing Company. Naomi Anderson lists objectives of the corporation.  Stock is being sold, 20,000 shares at $1.00 each.

"Discussed Status of the Negro Citizen,” San Francisco Examiner, 19 Dec. 1898, p. 3. One speaker said the U.S. is hypocritical, and he opposed negro enlistment in the US Army to fight in Cuba while their brothers are being hanged by mobs in America. Naomi Anderson stated that she has seven sons, three of whom are U.S. soldiers. “We must alter bad effects by changing their causes.  To uplift a race, we must elevate the mothers.  We must look to the fathers to lift the stigma from the mothers.

ANDERSON.  San Francisco Call, 10 June 1899 p 14   Naomi Anderson’s obituary.  “In this city, June 9, 1899.   Naomi, beloved wife of Louis Anderson, and mother of Rhodes Talbert and Jessie, Orval and Garland Anderson, a native of Indiana, aged 56 years.  Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend the funeral this day (Sunday) at 1:30 pm, from Bethel M.E. Church.  Remains at the parlors of the California Undertaking Company, 405 Powell Street, corner of Post. Interment Laurel Hill Cemetery”.

"Women Working to Win”, San Diego Union and Bee, 29 August 1896.  Naomi Anderson delivered an address before a large audience at Unity Hall Saturday and the following Monday a rousing meeting was by her in the Baptist Church for the colored people.   When addressing her own people, Mrs. Anderson fairly scintillates with enthusiasm and earnestness… a club of 26 voters was organized by her in this city.”

The Jacksonian (Cimarron, KS), 7 August 1891, p. 1.

The Record Union (Sacramento, CA), 1 Nov. 1895, p. 3.  “At Pioneer Hall this evening a concert and supper will be given for the benefit of Mount Zion Baptist Church.  There is a debt of $600 against the church, and the money must be raised at once, as several actions have been filed against it.  At the close of the exercise Mrs. Naomi Anderson of Kansas, a woman noted in the West as a leader in colored circles, will deliver an address on “The Race Problem.”

“Afro American League State Convention to Open Today.”  Los Angeles Herald, 11 August 1896, p. 3. Three hundred delegates present.  When President T.B. Morton arrived, he was met at the depot by the local reception committee.  He was accompanied by his wife and Mrs. Naomi Anderson, the suffragist, lecturer, who is touring California in the interest of her sex.

Wichita Daily Eagle, 11 Mar. 1893, p. 8.   “On Wednesday evening a number of Mrs. Naomi Anderson’s friends surprised her at her residence 317 S. Water Street, on the occasion of her 50th birthday.  Mrs. William Orey, on behalf of the guests, presented her with a handsome dress, gloves, and handkerchief.   Mrs. Anderson has been the matron of the colored children’s home and is well known as a charity worker.”

The Woman’s Journal (California), 5 Sept. 1896, p. 287.

“A Colored Woman on the Race Problem”, The Woman’s Tribune, Vol. 7, No. 12, 22 March 1890, p. 93. 

Western Methodist (Wichita, KS), 17 Aug. 1893, p.5.   

Western Methodist, (Wichita, KS), 2 M

Current Bibliography

Michigan City poetry contest to honor 19th amendment, local suffragist

LaPorte County Herald-Dispatch 11-23-2020


After 100 years, Michigan City will be preserving the legacy of one of its ‘remarkable women'

LaPorte County Herald-Dispatch 10-29-2020


Michigan City wins grant for memorial to honor a suffragette of its own

LaPorte County Herald-Dispatch 8-26-2020


Visit Michigan City and LaPorte interview

WIMS Radio The Talk of the South Shore (95.1 FM/AM 1420) 8-31-2020


Main Street Communities Receive Women’s Legacy Grants

Inside Indiana Business 8-27-2020


Watch the announcement of the Preserving Women’s Legacy Grant projects

Preserving Women’s Legacy Grants 8-26-2020


Michigan City Mainstreet awarded $40,0000 grant

News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel 8-26-2020


Three Main Streets awarded grants to preserve women’s history

Michigan City Chamber of Commerce 8-26-2020


Initial interview introducing “Celebrating Naomi Anderson” project which features Bonnie Schaaf, Nancy Moldenhauer, and W. Faye Moore on video entitled “Michigan City-Naomi Anderson-Long FINAL”

Preserving Women’s Legacy Grants presented by Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs 8-18-2020


Meet Naomi Anderson!

Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial Facebook 8 -13-2020


We believe that colored women have need for the ballot that white women have

Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial Facebook 6-19-2020


Committee seeks to honor Michigan City's own suffragist Naomi Anderson

LaPorte County Herald-Dispatch 5-8-2020


Rediscovering a Local Hero

The Beacher 3-5-2020


Puzzle leads to historic MC native

LaPorte County Herald-Dispatch 2-27-2020

Books and Misc


For more information, search Naomi Anderson at which has more than a hundred articles about her, covering speaking engagements, civic involvement, reports of her lectures, letters and poetry she wrote, etc.   She is also written about in the following books:

Monroe Majors, Noted Negro Women: Their Triumphs and Activities (Chicago,
Donohue and Henneberry, 1893)

Linda Carter, Notable Black American Women (Gale Research, 1992, 2003)

Darlene Clark Hine, Black Women in America: The Early Years 1617-1899 (Facts on File Encyclopedia of Black Women in America, 1997)

Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (Indiana University Press, 1998)

Following are two newspaper articles in local Michigan City papers in early 2020: