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Maria Coles Perkins Lawton

(1864–1946) Maria was an African-American woman who was active in the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. She was one of the most active African American women of her day in the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (NACWC) at the local, state, and national levels.

Maria was a brilliant organizer. In 1912, she was appointed state organizer for the NACWC. She served as the president of the Empire State Federation, the umbrella organization of New York State African-American women's groups, from 1916 to 1929, and as national chairperson of the NACW Program and Literature Committee from 1926 to 1929. As a testament to her leadership, the affiliate of the Empire State Federation in the Albany region, the M.C. Lawton Club, was founded in her honor in 1919.

In 1914, Maria was designated by Governor Martin H. Glynn of New York to represent the state at the National Negro Educational Congress meetings in Oklahoma City and St. Louis. After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, Maria became an active member of the New York Republican Party, hosting teas and luncheons at her home on Willoughby Street for local and state leaders in the Republican Party. In 1924, she was appointed director of the eastern division of the Republican National Convention and endorsed the nomination and election of Calvin Coolidge. Additionally, Maria became active in the labor movement in the 1920s, representing the women of New York State at the Labor Conference of Women in Washington, D.C. in 1924. *courtesy


The Evergreens Cemetery

Grave #5630

1629 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11207-1849

Kings County

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