My Contribution: My husband and I were impassioned abolition- ists in Harrisburg prior to the Civil War and used our home as a base of support for the Underground Railroad. I opened a kindergarten to help provide educational opportunities for Black children in Har- risburg, and I continued educational services for children in North Carolina during the period of Reconstruction. I also founded the Independent Order of Daughters of Temperance, which sought to eradicate vice and alcoholism in Harrisburg and contributed to the women’s suffrage movement. My work was so successful that even advocates in the white community sought my advice and wisdom on matters of temperance and suffrage.
My Legacy: I made my communities better through educational and moral improvement. I educated numerous children of color at a time when few school opportunities were available to them, and in that way, planted the seeds for a harvest of new opportunities. In advocating for temperance and the vote, I laid the groundwork for women to be involved in gaining civic rights and an improved place in society.
“For each moment of flitting time, each pulsation of the heart some lonely traveler of this mundane sphere loosens the grasp of the things of earth and sinks into eternity. Through one of the opened portals Sister Amos, with outstretched wings swept to a life where Jesus is, to immortality. Hers was a picturesque character, sturdy, independent, positive and aspiring…. In the outer affairs of human life she was an abolitionist and her husband, whose home was an underground station, was often beaten and at one time incarcerated for acts under the fugitive slave law…. She was a suffragist in her church and the women of the Zion church owe a debt of grattitude to her. Should her memory not be held sacred?” — Pittsburgh Courier, Obituary by J.P. Scott, April 1, 1911.
Full Name: Annie Eliza (Williams) Amos
Birth Date: ca. 1824
Death Date: 1911
Place of Birth: North Carolina
Race: Mulatto (1850-1880 Federal Census), Black (1900-1910 Federal Census),
Places of Residence: 432 South Avenue, Harrisburg PA
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward:
- Resident at 432 South Avenue, a building that served as a political center of the Eighth Ward near the famous Battis Corner; Colonel Strothers ran a pool hall at 432 South, and several Black social organizations, including the Independent Order of Daughters of Temperance, met at this property; involved in the nearby Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church and the Sunday school program there.
Family Members: Husband: Aquilla Amos. Children: Maria L. Amos, Thomas E. Amos, Sarah A. Amos, George Amos (son – died), John W. Amos (son – died), Aquila W. Amos (son – died). Grandchildren: Eugene R. Wilson, Lester R. Wilson.
Education: None Listed on census
Occupations: Occupations: Kindergarten Director. Teacher. Assistant Superintendent of Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church Sunday School. Secretary
Church Membership: Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church, Member of the Elder Street Presbyterian mite society
Activism: Activism: Independent Order of Daughters of Temperance; Elder Street Presbyterian Mite Society; Garnet League; Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
Connections: Aquilla Amos (husband); Jane Chester; William Howard Day; John P. Scott.