Caroline Poe




Handbook of Texas Online: POE, CAROLINE

Poe, CAROLINE (1832-?). Caroline Poe, black teacher, was born a slave in Tennessee in 1832. With her husband, Sebrem or Seben Poe, she had three children. In Marshall, Texas, she organized one of the two Freedmen's Bureauqv schools for blacks in Harrison County and taught a monthly average of fifty students in 1868-69 despite the lack of support from the white community, the financial limitations of local blacks struggling in a year of poor crops, and the absence of a salary from the bureau. In 1869, along with the other bureau teacher, William Massey, she helped found a new school building to replace the two rundown schoolhouses that had been the only places of education for black children in Marshall. Despite the end of the bureau's educational efforts in Texas in 1870, the fall of 1871 found Caroline Poe back in the schoolroom as one of twelve teachers hired for Harrison County following the passage of the Texas public school law of 1871. She also played active roles in different organizations, including the African Methodist Episcopal Churchqv and the Colored Women's Christian Temperance Union in Texas, for which she was elected state organizer in 1887.

Notes extracted from Black Texas Women: 150 Years of Trial and Triumph by Ruthe Winegarten

Page 77
In June 1887, at the state WCTUC convention in Waco Mrs. Caroline Poe, a former slave and schoolteacher in Marshall, was elected “state organizer for colored work.”

Page 87
Caroline W. Poe, a former slave, began instructing a class of thirty-five pupils
in 1867 in one of the two bureau schools in Marshall and continued for two years without a salary. Her monthly enrollment averaged one hundred students.

Page 91
With the close of the Freedmen's Bureau schools, teacher Caroline Poe simply transferred to Harrison County public schools.

Page 92
When the public schools opened in Marshall in the fall of 1871, Caroline Poe was one of the twelve teachers employed. She earned two hundred dollars for the period from October 1871 through Febuary 1872 and about thirty-five dollars for the next four months.

Notes extracted from Autobiography and Work of Bishop M. F. Jamison, D.D. 1848-1918

 Page 167  
   ON Wednesday morning the General Conference was called to order by Bishop W. H. Miles, of Louisville, Ky., with but little more than a quorum present. Mrs. C. W. Poe, who was a most excellent woman, true to her Church and truer still to Christ, was President of the Woman's Missionary Society of Texas; hence she visited the General Conference, hoping that it might provide for a Woman's Missionary Society for the connection. This was contemplated by the brethren, but was deferred till the next general session, as Bishop Miles and the Committee on Missions disagreed.

Page 152
THE long-looked-for day to start to Washington had at last come. The delegates, with one or two exceptions, were short of means with which to go; but this was provided for in some way, and on the 29th day of April we took our leave of Texas. Starting from Marshall, I assumed the leadership of the company, which consisted of H. P. Hollingsworth, W. W. Lewis, Mrs. C. W. Poe, O. T. Womack, F. M. McPhearson, and M. F. Jamison. Indeed, this was a jolly little band. We took breakfast at Texarkana, and then swept on to Little Rock, where we spent the afternoon and part of the night. Rev. H. Bullock was pastor in charge at Little Rock. He had arranged for me to preach to his people, which I cheerfully consented

Notes extracted from Dallas News

Women Christian Temperance Union Texas 
Fort Worth, Texas May 10

Marshall Delegates

Mrs. Caroline Poe
Mrs. Jenie Goodly
Mrs. M. J. Maudling


The Poe Household in the 1870 census, Marshall, Texas.

Caroline Poe has two entries in the 1870 Census

 Name  Relation   Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation
Serem Poe 37   M B   Ala Farm Hand
Caroline Poe 38   F B 39 Ala School Teacher
Hugh Poe 17   M B   Texas Waiter
Georgia Poe 14 Twins F B   Texas  
Hagar Poe 14   F B   Texas  


 Name  Relation   Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation
Caroline Poe 38   F B 39 Ala School Teacher
Hugh Poe 17   M B   Texas Waiter
George Poe 14   M B   Texas  
Hagar Poe 14   F B   Texas  



The Poe Household in the 1880 census, Marshall, Texas.

 Name  Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace
 Seben P. Poe   Self   M   Male   B   46   AL   Tinker   SC   VA 
 Caroline Poe   Wife   M   Female   B   48   TN   Keeping House   TN   MD 
 Wilkey Flanigan   Sister   W   Female   B   43   AL   Washing   SC   VA 
 Emma Millege   Sister   M   Female   B   30   AL   Washing   SC   VA 
 Melia Poe   Dau   S   Female   B   19   TX   Student   SC   VA 
 Alferd Graham   Nephew   S   Male   B   16   TX   Student   SC   VA 
 Sallie Poe   Mother   W   Female   B   73   VA   Keeping House   VA   VA