Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MINER, Myrtilla, philanthropist, born in Brook-field, Madison County, New York, 4 March, 1815; died in Washington, D. C., 17 December, 1864. She began teaching when fifteen years of age, and was afterward employed in a school for the education of planters' daughters in Whitesville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi She remained there two years, became familiar with the evils of slavery, and determined to devote her life to the elevation of the negro race. She decided to found a normal school for free colored girls in Washington, although she had but $100 with which to meet expenses. On 3 December, 1851, the school was opened in a small apartment with six pupils. During the second month the number of pupils increased to forty, and in 1853 a permanent location for the school with increased accommodation was purchased for , $4,300, Harriet Beecher Stowe contributing 81,000 from the proceeds of the sale of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Thenceforth the school was a great success. In 1860 indications of approaching civil war led to the temporary abandonment of the school, and in 1861 Miss Miner went to California for the benefit of her health, but; met with an accident there and returned to die in Washington. While she was absent in California in 1863, congress passed an act for the incorporation of her normal school. She had suffered severe persecution in consequence of her efforts to elevate the colored people.
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