This week marks the birth of artist Ethel Pennewill Brown Leach in 1878 and the death of preacher Peter Spencer in 1843. Leach studied art under Howard Pyle. She lived and worked primarily in Wilmington, Frederica, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. She began her professional career as an illustrator but eventually moved on to easel painting, where she displayed remarkable thematic and stylistic range. An extensive biography of the artist is provided in volume XXVIII of Delaware History.
Cover of Delaware History Volume 28, Nos. 2-3
Ethel P. Brown working at her easel, ca. 1910
(Courtesy EPBL Papers)
Peter Spencer was born a slave in Kent County, Maryland in 1782. He was granted freedom upon the death of his owner in the 1790’s and made his way to Wilmington, Delaware where he co-founded Ezion Methodist Episcopal Church in 1805 and later the African Union Methodist Church, which was the first independent Methodist church for members of African descent, as well as the mother church of all A.U.M.P (African Union Methodist Protestant) churches. At Spencer’s death, thirty one A.U.M.P churches had been established in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
Silhouette of Peter Spencer derived from the book
“The Mark of A Man” by Lewis V. Baldwin
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