By Barbara White
Anna Gardner (1816–1901) was a Nantucket educator, writer, abolitionist, and suffragist. A lifelong advocate of justice, she worked tirelessly toward her vision of an equitable society. A co-organizer of the 1841 Nantucket Anti-Slavery Convention, the first teacher and principal of the Jefferson School for freedmen in Charlottesville, Va., and among the first women to vote on Nantucket, Gardner engaged in movements locally, regionally, and nationally throughout the nineteenth century. Her story shows that societal change is possible at the ground level when everyday people put their principles into action.
In this first full-length biography, White draws on extensive new research, providing the most comprehensive account of Gardner’s life to date and contextualizing it within a period of enormous change in both education and civil rights.