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Anna E. Hall collection

 Collection — Box: 1-4
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0119

Scope and Contents

The Anna E. Hall collection (boxes 1 through 3) spans the years of 1896 through 1964. The materials within the collection describe the life and work of this Methodist Deaconess from Georgia. They include Hall's personal diaries describing daily life, including her missionary work in Garraway, Liberia, West Africa. An early journal of John M.L. Harrow describes the tough existence of early missionary life in 1890s Africa. Also of interest are articles, photographs, images and publications related to Anna E. Hall, the histories of Central Methodist church of Atlanta, the African nation of Liberia, Gammon Theological Seminary and the Interdenominational Theological Center. Further collection materials include church service programs, educational information, certificates and licenses, correspondences addressed to Anna E. Hall from the government of Liberia, ministers and former students and friends.


  • Creation: 1892-1964

Conditions Governing Use

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical / Historical

Anna E. Hall was born near Bainbridge, Georgia on March 1st, 1870. She lived a religiously oriented childhood with her mother, a seamstress, and expressed the desire to serve as a missionary while a student at Clark University (now Clark Atlanta University) in Atlanta, Georgia, where she completed the normal course on May 12, 1892. Her religious training was delayed due to family responsibilities and lack of financial resources: instead she taught school for one year in Ormund, Florida. She then returned to Jesup, Georgia where she served as the Principal of Jesup School for four years.

With the generosity of influential people who were made aware of her desire to be a missionary, she entered the New England Deaconess Training School in Boston, Massachusetts in 1899 and graduated May 22, 1901 as the first African American to attend the school. She was then appointed as a Deaconess to work with the Lloyd Street Methodist Church (now the Central United Methodist Church) in Atlanta, Georgia. This work lasted five years, 1901-1906.

Her missionary work was realized in December 1906, when she travelled to Monrovia, Liberia to teach the Kroo (Kru) people. In her second year she was asked to go to the southern part of the Republic - Garraway - where she became the successor to the Director of the Julia A. Stewart Memorial Girls Home and School, Garraway Mission. She worked there twenty four years, and was comfortable with all people - presidents, high church officials, college presidents- but chose to identify with those of a more humble status.

She retired from her work in Liberia and moved back to Atlanta, Georgia, where she became a familiar figure visiting hospitals, prisons, and homes of sick and troubled people. Affectionately named “Mama Hall” by members of both the Atlanta and Liberia communities where she lived, she was the recipient of many honors. One of these honors was the naming of a new church at the Liberia Garraway Mission in 1952: the Anna E. Hall Methodist Church. Another was the naming of new married student dorms at the Gammon Theological Seminary in 1952: the Anna E. Hall Dormitory for Married Students. She was additionally the recipient of a significant honor from the Republic of Liberia where she was knighted during the inaugural ceremonies of president-elect William V.S. Tubman, and vice president-elect William Tolbert in 1956.

She lived in Atlanta until her death in March 6, 1964.


2.09 Linear feet (collection containing 2.09 linear feet of manuscripts and memorabilia (2 manuscript boxes and 3 oversized boxes).)

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged in five series: Personal Papers, Liberia, Printed materials, Photographs, and Memorabilia.

Separated Materials

Oversized materials have been separated to appropriate housing.

Processing Information

The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library acknowledges the generous support of the National Endowment for Humanities - Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Project Grant in supporting the processing and digitization of a number of its major archival collections as part of the project: Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Anna E. Hall collection, 1892-1964
Finding aid prepared by Jessica Leming, February, 2016
February, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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