Maria W. Stewart (Maria Miller) (1803 – February 6, 1880) was an African-American journalist, lecturer, abolitionist, and women's rights activist.

She was born Maria Miller, the child of free African-American parents in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1803. At the age of five she became an orphan and was sent to live with a minister and his family. Until she was fifteen, Maria was a servant in the home where she resided and was deprived of an education. When Maria turned twenty, her life took a turn for the better. Maria began to attend Sabbath School, where she developed a lifelong affinity for religious work. During her early adulthood, while attending school, Maria worked as a domestic servant for a living.

On August 10, 1826, Maria Miller and James W. Stewart, an independent shipping agent, exchanged vows before the Reverend Thomas Paul, pastor of the African Meeting House, in Boston, Massachusetts. Their marriage lasted only three years; James Stewart died in 1829. There were no children.

The inheritance from her husband, a veteran of the War of 1812, was taken away by the executors of his estate. Eventually, however, her husband's pension was restored to her when a law was passed granting pensions to widows of the War of 1812 veterans.

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Maria Stewart Poems

Maria Stewart Quotes

African rights and liberty is a subject that ought to fire the breast of every free man of color in these United States, and excite in his bosom a lively, deep, decided and heart-felt interest.
Maria Stewart (1803-1879), African American abolitionist and schoolteacher. As quoted in Black Women in Nineteenth-Century American Life, part 3, by Bert James Loewenberg and Ruth Bogin (1976). Stewart, a free African American, said this in a February 27, 1833 address at the African Masonic Hall.
... it is not the color of the skin that makes the man or the woman, but the principle formed in the soul. Brilliant wit will shine, come from whence it will; and genius and talent will not hide the brightness of its lustre.
Maria Stewart (1803-1879), African American abolitionist and schoolteacher. As quoted in Black Women in Nineteenth-Century American Life, part 3, by Bert James Loewenberg and Ruth Bogin (1976). Stewart, a free African American, said this in her September 21, 1833 "Farewell Address to Her Friends" in Boston. She moved on to New York, where she became a schoolteacher.

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