Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)





Committee Chair

Douglas Chambers

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Pamela Tyler

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Chester Morgan

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Deanne Nuwer

Committee Member 4 Department


Committee Member 5

Matthew Casey

Committee Member 5 Department



This dissertation examines the reform work of four unsung black women reformers in Virginia from the post-Reconstruction period into the early twentieth century. The four women all spearheaded social reformist institutions and organizations such as industrial training schools, a settlement house, an orphanage, a home for the elderly, a girl’s reformatory/industrial school and a state federation of black women’s clubs. One of the selected women includes Jennie Dean, a former slave from northern Virginia, who founded an industrial training school for African-Americans in post-Civil War Manassas. Dean’s industrial school resulted from her tenacious drive to imbue former slaves with literacy and vocational skills. The second woman is Della Irving Hayden, an 1877 graduate of Hampton Institute, who founded the Franklin Normal and Industrial Institute in 1904. The third woman is Janie Porter Barrett, an 1884 graduate of Hampton Institute who established the Locust Street Settlement House in Hampton, as well as the state’s first reformatory/industrial school for delinquent black girls. The fourth woman is Amelia Perry Pride, an 1885 graduate of Hampton Institute, who established a home for the elderly, an orphanage and a cooking/sewing school; all of this institution’s served Lynchburg’s black community.

Although Jennie Dean is the only one of the four women who did not attend Hampton Institute, she, like Hayden, Barrett and Pride took strong inspiration from the Hampton Model as designed by the school’s founder, Samuel Chapman Armstrong. While the model placed primary emphasis on a vocational/industrial curriculum, it also stressed the virtues of piety, thrift, hard work, racial uplift and self-sufficiency. Due to its all-encompassing components, which provided a logical and practical resolution to post-Reconstruction black southern plight, reformers such as the dissertation’s four women integrated the Hampton Model into their reformist objectives and initiatives.