Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ann Bradford Stokes

From: s3.amazonaws.com

Stokes (1830-1903), an illiterate African American woman born into slavery in Tennessee, served as a “contraband” (escaped slave) nurse on the hospital ship USS Red Rover, the first Union Naval
ship, from January 1863 to October 1864. She also received regular wages of a “first-class boy.”

Notably, she was among the first women to serve as a nurse in the United States Navy and the first to serve on a U.S. military vessel. In 1890, after years of unsuccessful petitions for a pension, Stokes reapplied for a pension based on her 18 months of service in the Navy instead of as a widow of a deceased soldier. Since she was listed as a “boy” while serving on the USS Red Rover, Stokes was granted her a pension of $12 per month (the usual amount awarded to nurses at this time) by the Navy.


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