Meet Ellen Far

Ellen Tested our Nation’s First Civil Rights Bill

Baltimore, MD Train Station

Robbins House Humanities Director Elon Cook visited Baltimore’s President Street train station in costume, where Ellen Garrison defended her right to sit in the ladies’ waiting room on May 7, 1866. The Civil Rights Bill of 1866, enacted on April 9th, was the first US federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected – it was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African Americans in the wake of the Civil War.

 Robbins House Humanities Director Elon Cook poses as Ellen Garrison at the Baltimore President Street Train Depot where Ellen tested the country’s first Civil Rights Act in 1866. Reenactment courtesy of The Robbins House’s IMLS grant.


Robbins House Humanities Director Elon Cook poses as Ellen Garrison at the Baltimore President Street Train Depot where Ellen tested the country’s first Civil Rights Act in 1866. Reenactment courtesy of The Robbins House’s IMLS grant.

After being “forcibly thrown out” of the waiting room, Ellen took legal action by returning to the station two days later to find a witness and document her treatment, this time standing her ground. To learn more, please visit The Robbins House or go to: robbinshouse.org/story/ellen-garrison-jackson/
Robbins House Humanities Director Elon Cook poses as Ellen Garrison at the Baltimore President Street Train Depot where Ellen tested the country’s first Civil Rights Act in 1866. Reenactment courtesy of The Robbins House’s IMLS grant.
imls
Programming made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services