Abbie Keene Mason

(1861–1908) Abbie was a wife, mother and temperance reformer. In 1888, she married Rev. James E. Mason, a pastor at Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (Zion), the oldest African American church in Rochester, New York. Beyond her family life, she participated in the women's rights movement. Specifically, she was a founding member and the inaugural president of a branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) in August of 1901. Eight women joined the chapter along with her. The majority attended Zion, which had a storied history of fighting for advancements for women and African Americans.

Abolitionists and women's rights advocates, including Abbie, contributed to Zion's distinguished legacy. Abbie held W.C.T.U. meetings in Zion's basement and participated in a church conference that highlighted the achievements of Frederick Douglass. Douglass published his anti-slavery weekly, the North Star, in Zion's basement. He also led the efforts to make the original church building a stop on the Underground Railroad, which sheltered Harriet Tubman and other escaped enslaved people. Furthermore, Douglass's friend and leader of the suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony, gave her last public speech at Zion before her death in 1906. *courtesy of

Mount Hope Cemetery

NW 1/4, BB, Lot 159

1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620

Monroe County

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This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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The Sea Stone Foundation

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