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Anna T. Jeanes

AKA Anna Thomas Jeanes

Born: 7-Apr-1822
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Died: 24-Sep-1907
Location of death: Germantown, PA
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Cremated, Fair Hill Burial Ground, Philadelphia, PA

Gender: Female
Religion: Quaker
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Philanthropist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Negro Rural School Fund

Anna Jeanes was one of ten children of a prosperous dry goods dealer who also owned several coal mines. All of her siblings were childless, so when her parents and eventually her last sibling died the entire family fortune came into her hands. She promptly set about giving it away, first donating several hundred thousand dollars to local schools and a retirement home in Philadelphia, and then establishing a million-dollar fund to educate and hire black teachers and traveling supervisors for rural schools, and to improve African American school facilities. This was the largest single gift for public education in American history, at the time. Under original trustees Hollis Frissell and Booker T. Washington and for decades after Jeanes' death, the Negro Rural School Fund (a.k.a. the Anna T. Jeanes Foundation) provided funding for "Jeanes teachers" who traveled the South, providing vital support for the education of black students. In 1937 the group merged with several charities sharing similar missions, and became the Southern Education Foundation, which continues to promote education for the poor and disadvantaged.

She despised the game of football, and once remarked of the sport, "They must be ungodly men who mimic war when there is peace". In her will, she endowed the family's coal properties, worth approximately a million dollars, to Swarthmore College, with the stipulation that the school give up its football program. Swarthmore declined to accept the endowment. She also left funds to establish Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia, which opened in 1928 and remains in service today.

Father: Isaiah Jeanes (merchant/mine operator, b. 12-Sep-1769, d. 7-Aug-1850)
Mother: Anna Thomas Jeanes (b. circa 1779, d. 1825)
Brother: Jacob Jeanes (homeopathic physician, b. 14-Oct-1800, d. 18-Dec-1877)
Brother: Joshua Jeanes (dry goods merchant, b. 1802, d. 3-Jan-1880)
Sister: Mary Jeanes (b. 8-Feb-1804, d. 19-Oct-1889)
Brother: Joseph Jeanes (dry goods merchant, b. 1806, d. 18-Nov-1894)
Brother: William Jeanes (b. 1806)
Brother: Levi Jeanes
Brother: Samuel Jeanes (dry goods merchant, b. 1809, d. 16-Nov-1894)
Brother: Isaiah Jeanes, Jr. (b. 1814, d. 1823)

    Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
    English Ancestry

Author of books:
The Sacrificer and the Non-Sacrificer (1886)
Fancy's Flight (1905, poetry; published anonymously)

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