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Ann Wager

An interpretation of an African American school room.

An interpretation of an African American school room.

  • Born by 1732
  • Widowed as a young woman
  • Governess to Burwell children at Carter's Grove
  • Mistress of Bray School for African American children
  • Died August 20, 1774

Ann Wager was a teacher in 18th-century Williamsburg. Widowed around 1750, she first became the governess to the Burwell children at Carter's Grove. Then in 1760 she was appointed mistress of the Bray School, a school for African American children in Williamsburg. Financed by an English philanthropist, the curriculum emphasized catechism, speaking, cleanliness, and obedience, as well as reading and writing. The girls were also taught knitting and sewing. Ann Wager received £20 annual salary and house rent. Although she was ailing in 1765, she recovered sufficiently to continue teaching until her death in 1774.