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Sat, 09.27.1873

Mary Dunlop Maclean, Journalist born

Mary Maclean

*Mary Dunlop Maclean was born on this date in 1873.  She was a white-American writer, journalist, and first managing editor of The Crisis from 1909 until her death.  

Mary Dunlop Johnson was born to parents Harriet Darling Johnson and Samuel Otis Johnson in Nassau, Bahamas. Her mother, a descendant of Revolutionary War hero Paul Dudley Sargent and of Governor John Winthrop, was born in Maine, her father was born in Nassau to American parents. She was sent to Boston, Massachusetts as a teenager to complete her education.  

In 1907, young Maclean edited a collection of Abraham Lincoln's letters and speeches.  In 1909, Maclean volunteered as managing editor of The Crisis beginning, working with W. E. B. DuBois as an editor, after the First National Negro Conference. She was the only woman on the magazine's initial six-person editorial board.  She used her skills as a journalist to conduct interviews and report to the NAACP on episodes including a lynching in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.  She was, simultaneously, on the Sunday staff at the New York Times, writing features such as a report from Sicily after the 1908 Messina earthquake.  

She used the pseudonym "Judith Herz" for at least one article in The New Era (a profile of the Yiddish-language playwright, Jacob Gordin).  Mary Dunlop Maclean died from complications following surgery on July 12, 1912.  She was 38 years old. The staff of The Crisis established a memorial fund in her name, used to fund publications of the NAACP.  Mary White Ovington chaired the memorial committee.   

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