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Anne S. Dudley


Abolitionist and teacher Anne S. Dudley, later Anne S. Dudley Bates (January 5, 1833-July 28, 1923) was born in Maine. She militantly opposed slavery before the Civil War and was one of 25 Free Will Baptist missionary school teachers who taught newly freed slaves in the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia at the end of the war. Arriving in 1865, she taught in Charles Town and Harpers Ferry. Vilified by many of her fellow whites and excoriated in the local newspapers, she was supported by the African-American community. Archilles and Ellen Dixon, literate blacks of Charles Town, provided a log cabin for her first school. Shortly after, she moved to Harpers Ferry to help establish Storer College under the direction of Nathan Brackett, a Free Will Baptist minister assigned to the Shenandoah Valley.

In 1872, Dudley toured New England with Storer College student singers known as the Harpers Ferry Singers to raise funds for construction of Myrtle Hall, the women’s dormitory. She relied on her motto, ‘‘All for Jesus,’’ to give her courage, delivering her appeal for support from the pulpits of prominent Congregationalist preachers, including that of Henry Ward Beecher. She visited with abolitionist Gerrit Smith and won $2,000 in donations from him.

In 1879, Anne Dudley moved to New York to marry the Rev. L. E. Bates but continued to serve as a Storer trustee for the rest of her life. She died in Fabius, New York.

Written by Barbara Rasmussen


  1. Rasmussen, Barbara. "Sixty-Four Edited Letters of the Founders of Storer College." M.A. thesis, West Virginia University, 1986.