In the seven years between Maryland’s Emancipation and 1871, Jane Gates worked as a laundress and a nurse, amassing the $1400 she used to purchase a home on Greene St. in Cumberland, Maryland. An amazing feat for anyone, but made even more amazing because Jane was the mother of five. 145 years later, one of her great-great grandsons, John Gates, and his family are seeking to turn that home that was so important to early African American Cumberland into a place that once again will serve the Cumberland community, The Jane Gates Heritage House.
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If you want additional information about the Jane Gates story, another great-great grandson, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, has documented the story at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aalives/2006/genealogy_journey.html.