Alabama Department of Archives and History
Courtesy of the
Maria Fearing (1838-1937) was born enslaved in Sumter County and went on to become an educator in Calhoun and Talladega counties.
At the age of 56, she became a Presbyterian missionary in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) during
one of its most turbulent and brutal periods. She served as a missionary until she was 78.