Ellen C. King

c. 1839-1936

Daughter of Mary Thompson King and sister of Harriet King Brown. Born at 70 Warren Street and lived there most of her life.

Went to North Carolina after the Civil War to help establish a school for freed slaves.

She was employed by the Brientnall, Frelinghuysen, Plume, Wright, and Kinney families.

She remembered President Lincoln’s 1861 visit as a highlight of her life. She was an avid reader of books, magazines, and Newark Sunday Call. She was superintendent and teacher at her church.

The Newark Sunday Call wrote in 1932, “the wonders of an ever changing world sometimes frighten her”.

She was educated at the Plane Street Church by other African Americans: “The white folk in those days didn’t give any thought to educating us, although they didn’t mind taxing us”.

She said, “I have always tried to live according to the Bible’s teachings. When I was younger I always tried to help others and now in my old age I receive my reward in kindness bestowed on me…I have seen a town grow into a great city…the city so unlike the town in which I grew up sometimes scares me by its noise but there are always new friends to talk and read to me and make my last days happy.”


Census records

Photo of Newark Sunday Call from NJ Historical Society via James Amemasor

King, Ellen C., Newark News Morgue, Newark Library

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