Memphis and the Railroad Suits “I had hoped such great things”

Linda O. McMurry

in To Keep the Waters Troubled

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195139273
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848911 | DOI:
Memphis and the Railroad Suits “I had hoped such great things”

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This chapter discusses Wells's life in Memphis. It was 1881 when Wells and her siblings arrived in Memphis, three years after their parents' death. For the first few years, Wells was teaching ten miles outside the city in Shelby County at Woodstock. She was busy preparing herself for classes, studying for the examination required of potential teachers in the city schools, and commuting back and forth to Memphis to be with her siblings. In 1883, while she was traveling by train from school, Wells was forcibly thrown out of a first-class car by the conductor on the Memphis to Woodstock line of the Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad, because she refused to ride in the second-class car. Wells sued the railroad company and won her case.

Keywords: teaching; Memphis; Shelby County; Woodstock; railroad

Chapter.  5651 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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