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2024 Black History Month Presentation:

The Mary Eliza Mahoney Project

Sunday, February 25, 2024 1:30 PM

Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first Black woman in America to graduate from a formal nursing program and the first to earn a professional nursing license. She was one of 42 students admitted into the New England Hospital for Women and Children Training School for Nurses in Boston, Massachusetts. Mahoney is believed to be one of only three people in her class to complete the challenging 16-month program in 1878. 

Following the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote,  Mary Eliza Mahoney registered to vote in Boston's Ward 13 on August 18, 1920. Today, researchers are partnering with the Boston City Archives to document and share stories of pioneering Boston women voters whose names are recorded in the 1920 voting registers. "We are all interested in expanding the story of women's suffrage in America," says researcher Erin Wiebe. "These registers record women of color, immigrant women, and working class women who aren't discussed as much as the more famous leaders of the movement. Working women in the city who signed their names to the [register] deserve to be called suffragists, too." The searchable database that the research team is creating is called the Mary Eliza Mahoney Project in honor of the Dorchester native. In celebration of Black History Month, The Boston Home is proud to welcome Laura Prieto and the Mary Eliza Mahoney Project team for a fascinating presentation on their exciting work. 

Families and friends of The Boston Home are warmly invited to join residents and staff for the event. For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Victoria Stevens, 617-326-4310 or