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Tue, 03.02.1875

Mary Rice Hayes Allen, Education Administrator, born

Mary Rice Allen

*Mary Rice Hayes Allen was born on this date in 1875. She was a Black educator and administrator.

Mary Rice was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She was the illegitimate daughter of former slave Malinda Rice and a former Confederate general, John R. Jones. She attended Hartshorn Memorial College.

In 1895 she married the educator Gregory W. Hayes with whom she had seven children, five surviving infancies. In 1891 Gregory Hayes became the second president of the Virginia Theological Seminary and College (now Virginia University of Lynchburg). He served as president until he died in 1906. Hayes Allen immediately following her husband's death as president through 1908 when James Robert Lincoln Diggs took over.

In 1911, she married William Allen, with whom she had three children. The couple settled in Montclair, New Jersey. Hayes Allen advocated for racial equality in the local schools, fighting a losing battle to desegregate the Montclair public school. She was active in the Montclair chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from the 1920s through the 1930s.

She died on October 10, 1935. Hayes Allen's daughter, Carrie Allen McCray, wrote a biography of her mother entitled Freedom's Child: The Life of a Confederate General's Black Daughter, published in 1998. In 2018 the Virginia Capitol Foundation announced that Hayes Allen's name would be on the Virginia Women's Monument's glass Wall of Honor.

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