Gertrude E. H. Bustill Mossell Bio

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Educator, journalist, feminist (1855-1948)

Gertrude Bustill Mossell was born into a free African American family in Philadelphia. Her family was considered elite and included generations of high achievers.

Gertrude attended Roberts Vaux Grammar school and upon completion began teaching school. When she married Nathan F. Mossell, a physician, her teaching career ended. A few years after her marriage, she began a career as a journalist. She wrote articles and columns for several African American newspapers and journals. The columns she wrote for Philadelphia newspapers were syndicated. Her writing focused on women’s rights and social reform. The first publication of her work, an essay “Influence” was printed in the Christian Recorder, edited by the Reverend Benjamin Tucker Tanner.

Mossell’s column “Our Woman’s Department”, written for the New York Freeman, encouraged women to read books and periodicals related to women’s issues. She encouraged women to pursue careers in business, journalism and medicine. Through her columns she introduced them to women who served as role models.

Gertrude E. H. Bustill Mossell Bio

  • The Work of the Afro-American Woman (1894)
  • Little Dansie’s One Day at Sabbath School (1902)