Susan Goodier, Lecturer, History Department, has been awarded a one-month Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She will conduct research on a project titled, “The St. Thomas Sanitary Committee Fair of 1864 and Louisa Jacobs.”

On December 19, 1864, the ladies of the Sanitary Committee of St. Thomas’s African American church held a Sanitary Fair at Concert Hall in Philadelphia to raise money for sick and wounded soldiers. The more well-known Great Central Fair for the United States Sanitary Commission, held the previous June, had excluded African Americans, except as waitstaff, and “marginalized abolitionists” despite the prevalence of emancipation as a theme. The women St. Thomas’s church then purchased “sanitaries” and forwarded them to Jacobs to support her work at the Jacobs’ Freedman’s School in Alexandria, Virginia. In her letter of gratitude, Jacobs remarked that the committee represented “the first colored society which has made us a donation of the kind.”

This research will inform a chapter of Goodier’s current manuscript project, “Louisa Matilda Jacobs: From Slavery to a Kind of Freedom.” She will conduct part of the research this summer and complete the project next spring.