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Mary Elizabeth Eato

(1844–1915) Mary Elizabeth was an African-American social justice advocate and women’s suffrage leader. At sixteen she started teaching in the New York City Public School system where she was said to have been an exceptional teacher and an inspiration to her students. Mary taught at Grammar School No. 3 on West 41st Street, later moving to Grammar School No. 80 on 42nd Street. She retired in 1904, after a career that spanned forty-four years.

Mary Elizabeth also led a number of social justice programs, including St. Mark’s Mutual Aid Society, the New York African Society for Mutual Relief, and the Hope Day Nursery for Colored Children.

She became a member of the Colored Women’s Equal Suffrage League of Brooklyn, New York and served as its Vice President in 1908. During her tenure she was noted for inviting a diverse range of suffrage speakers including white women suffragists and men.

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Cypress Hills Cemetery

833 Jamaica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208

Kings County