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Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1934
Mother of Paul Laurence Dunbar, she was born Matilda Murphy in Shelby County. She left Kentucky after the ratification of the 13th Amendment freed all slaves in Kentucky. Dunbar, who outlived her son by 28 years, kept his library until her death. Dunbar House is the first publicly-owned historic site to honor an African American (Dayton, OH). In 2006, the grave of Matilda's youngest child and only girl, Elizabeth Florence Dunbar, was placed next to her mother's grave in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton Ohio. The child had died at the age of 2 from sickness and malnutrition and was buried in a potter's field. Shortly after Elizabeth's death, Joshua Dunbar and Matilda divorced. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed.; African American Women: a Biographical Dictionary (1993), by D. Salem; and M. McCarty, "Dunbar family together," Dayton Daily News, 02/12/06, Local section, p. B1.
See photo image of Matilda Dunbar at Wikimedia.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio