Friday, January 26, 2007

William Adger (b-1858)

William Adger is the son of Robert and Marian and brother to Robert Mara Adger. Born in 1858, he was the first African American to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. He accomplished this in 1883 at the age of 25. He graduated from high school (Institute of Colored Youth) in 1875.

Famous Names Associated with The Adger Family

Wendy Ball -- co-author with Tony Martin of "Rare Afro-Americana: A Reconstruction of the Adger Library"

Octavius Catto -- close friend of Robert Mara Adger, Catto's funeral in 1871 was the biggest and most elaborate ever held for a black man in America. Robert Mara Adger named his son Octavius Catto Adger (b-1867) after him. Octavius Adger Jr. was born in 1898.

Fanny Jackson Coppin -- teacher at the Institute of Colored Youth which was attended by many of the Adger children.

W.E.B. DuBois -- gives mention to Robert Mara Adger in his book, "The Philadelphia Negro". Chapter 9, The Occupations of Negroes.

Tony Martin -- co-author with Wendy Ball of "Rare Afro-Americana: A Reconstruction of the Adger Library"

Arthur A. Schomburg -- (1874-1938) His collection of Afro-American related books, manuscripts, pamphlets and ephemera was purchased for $10,000 in 1926. It is currently housed in the Harlem branch of the New York Public Library.

William Still -- (1821-1902) Was an underground railroad leader and was Secretary of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.

Booker T. Washington -- An Adger Family friend, he is quoted in The Century Magazine article "Negro Homes" May 1908 on the number of books Adger had amassed.

Marian Morong Adger 1816-

Marian Morong Adger was a full-blooded Native American born in New York. She was kidnapped into slavery during a visit to South Carolina around 1810. Family members were able to raise enough money to buy her freedom as well as her child. Marian was married to Robert Adger and Robert Mara Adger was one of her 13 children. Seven of their nine children were born in South Carolina. She is listed in the 1850 census as being 34 years old. Living in the same household at the time were Diana Morong (59) and Catharine Morong (22). Presumably, these would be her mother and sister

Robert Adger 1813-1896

Robert Adger was born a slave in 1813 in Charleston, South Carolina. He married Mary Ann Morong who has also been recorded as Marian, Mary or Maryanne. Robert and Mary Ann moved to Philadelphia around 1848. In the 1850 census, they have 9 children listed ranging in age from 13 to 5 months. They are: Mary, Robert, James, Elizabeth, Sarah, Daniel, Joseph, Hannah and C. Samuel. In 1870, new arrivals are Anna P., Harriett, William and John. Robert Adger died in 1896. His last known residence was 835 South Street, Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Robert Mara Adger 1837-1910

Robert Mara Adger was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1837. His parents were Robert Adger and Marian Morong (she has also been recorded as Maryanne and Mary). Around the age of 8 or 9, he moved with his parents to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He married Lucy, who was born in Virginia. In the 1870 census, Lucy is listed as 24 years old and they had four children: Lionea, Joseph, Octavius V. and Willie. In the 1880 census, there is no mention of Lionea but a new addition in Julian F. Henry Simmons or Leon S. Adger was born in 1881. Robert M. Adger died at the age of 73 in Philadelphia on June 6, 1910. He was buried at the Merion Cemetery on June 11.