Women's hall of fame inductees deserve recognition

April 01, 2010

We believe The Baltimore Sun should give recognition to the induction of four outstanding women into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame in Annapolis on March 18. The honorees are: Claire M. Fraser-Legett, Anne Catharine Hoof Green, Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps, Bernice R. Sandler and Lillie Shockney.

Anne Catharine Green, deceased, 1775, was the first woman publisher of the oldest continuously published newspaper in America the Maryland Gazette, founded in 1727. She married Jonas Green in 1738 and moved with him to Annapolis where he bought the paper from William Parks, leased a building and set up a print shop and published the colonial government's acts, votes and proceedings of the Maryland Assembly. Jonas Green, according to the Writers Project Administration's Maryland, A Guide to the Old Line State, was the "official 'poet, printer, punster, purveyor and punch-maker' of the Tuesday Club, and contributed largely to the hilarity of its proceedings."

However, Jonas Green was not a businessman, and when he died in 1767, he left Anne Catharine with a large family (she gave birth to fourteen children, eight of whom died young) and a mountain of debts. Anne Green continued uninterrupted publication of the only newspaper in Annapolis. She then petitioned the Maryland Assembly to continue publication of the Maryland Gazette, thus becoming the state's first female newspaper publisher. She paid off the debts and bought the formerly leased buildings of her home and print shop. Anne Catharine Hoof Green commissioned her portrait, elegantly dressed, by Charles Wilson Peale holding a paper in her lap that reads "ANNAPOLIS Printer to" The Peale portrait hangs in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Randall Brown, a direct descendent, spoke at the Induction Ceremony and noted that the newly established Jonas Green Park below the Naval Academy Bridge makes no mention of the real business person in the family. We believe the park should be renamed the Jonas and Anne Catharine Hoof Green Park. Jim Morrison, Gibson Island

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