The daughter of fugitive slaves, she went on to get an illustrious career as an educator and was proven to be a mentor to a lot of African Americans. She’s considered to function as the oldest of seven kids, which her parents, Henry Irving and Emeline Eliza Patterson, were fugitive slaves. In 1852, MaryJane family left Raleigh and moved to Oberlin, Ohio in 1856, in hopes the kids would have the capacity to get a school instruction. Growing up, her family’s dad — a childhood buddy of Andrew Jackson — supported the family through his work as a skilled mason. To help make ends meet, the family also boarded black pupils.
In 1835, Oberlin College admitted its first black pupil and two years afterwards became the nation’s first coed association of higher education. It was also the very first school in the nation to give undergraduate degrees to women. There were still merely several black pupils registered in the school during her four years resulting in her graduation in 1862. By earning its first black student’s B.A., Patterson became the country’s first African American girl to receive a bachelor’s degree. (Patterson’s brother, John, and her sisters Emma and Chanie Ann, all would graduate from Oberlin and continue to pursue teaching professions.) In 1871, Patterson became the very first black principal of the recently-founded Preparatory High School for Negroes. Within the span of her career, she was proven to be a mentor to a lot of African American girls. Patterson continued working in the institution until her departure on September, 24 1894.