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Baltimore Living

Best Overlooked Landmark

Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange Monument

610 George St.

One of Baltimore’s many fascinating, oft-forgotten stories is that of Elizabeth Clarissa Lange, a Haitian woman born in the late 1700s who eventually settled in Baltimore, where she ran a school in her home. That school became the St. Frances Academy Baltimore School for Colored Girls in 1828, and in 1829 Lange, along with three other women of African descent, became nuns. Later that year, Sister Mary Elizabeth Lange helped found the Oblate Sisters of Providence, which, after Pope Gregory XVI’s 1831 approval, became the first Roman Catholic order for women of African descent. A monument to this pioneer stands in Perkins Spring Square Park, near where she first started the Oblate Sisters.

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