From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Early School in Louisville, KY

Jerry Wade, described as a mulatto, was a barber at the Galt House in Louisville, KY. He had purchased his freedom and that of his family.

Wade was fairly well off and rented one of his homes to his son and his family. The front of the house was rented to Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm and her husband, both of whom were white.

Jane Swisshelm, an abolitionist from Pennsylvania, was also an advocate for women's rights. Around 1838 she opened a school for African Americans in the Wade home. Both she and the students were harassed by whites; Wade was notified that his house would be burned down if the school continued. All of the students withdrew from the school.

For more see Half a Century, by Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm, 1815-1880; Jane Grey Swisshelm at the African American Registry website; Jane Grey Swisshelm Historical Marker at; and "How the First American Woman to Be a Political Journalist Got Her Start" at; and Jane Swisshelm at See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Half a century

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Louisville and Jefferson County, KY

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Early School in Louisville, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-05-24 16:19:04