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Portrait of Jarena Lee

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A Portrait of Jarena Lee

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A portrait of Jarena Lee, the first woman to preach from the pulpit of Richard Allen's Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was painted from life for the frontispiece of her autobiographical book, Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee...

The portrait shows Lee seated and simply dressed, with a quill in her hand and papers and books, including the Holy Bible, on the table before her. The composition of the image was meant to convey that Lee was not only a religious woman, but a literate one as well. The caption below reads: "Mrs. Jarena Lee. Preacher of the A,M,E, Church. Aged 60 years on the 11th day of the 2nd month 1844. Philad 1844."

Image Credit: From the collections of the Library of Congress

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Related Entries:
Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee
Catherine Brekus on Jarena Lee
Margaret Washington on Jarena Lee's conversion
Albert Raboteau on Jarena Lee's conversion

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