The Golden Fourteen worked under the tutelage of John T. Risher during World War One. Risher was a Civil Servant in D.C. in the Navy Department. Risher's job was to keep an accurate account and track of deployed kinsman in the branch of the armed forces. This was critical because of the increased number of servicemen during war time.
According to Joseph Risher:
The women were all cool, clear-headed and well-poised, evincing at all times in the language of a white chief yeoman: a tidiness and appropriate demeanor both on and off duty which the girls of the white race might do well to emulate.
|Golden Fourteen pictured in photo A.|
Source: www.lwfaam.net. This site has further information on the subjects of photo B.
Regretfully, The Golden Fourteen received scant recognition during their lifetime. They consisted of:
- Armelda H. Greene of MS
- Pocahontas A. Jackson of MS
- Catherine E. Finch of MS
- Fannie A. Foote of TX
- Ruth A. Wellborn of DC
- Olga F. Jones of DC
- Sarah Davis of MD
- Sarah E. Howard of MS
- Marie E. Mitchell of DC
- Annie G. Smallwood of DC
- Maude C. Williams of TX
- Caroll E Washington of MS
- Joseph (sic) B Washington of MS
- Inez B. McIntosh of MS
Listed above is the grandmother of the late Commerce Secretary of Ronald H. Brown*, Ruth Wellborn, who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Some sources listed a higher number of Negro Yeoman. In the article entitled " Milestones of Women in the US Navy" www.history.navy.mil/.womentimeline" the number listed is 24 African American Women. However, the names of the enlisted females are omitted. From this site:
It was also noted that the work of this section has proven highly efficient and satisfactory, as the plans in vogue there under its modern management are both scientific and accurate. Many of the superior officials have scrutinized the experiment very closely and are a unit in the sincerity of their admiration of its success and effectiveness. Source: www.history.navy.mil/library/online/negro_navy.html.
In other words, The Golden Fourteen were a well oiled machine!
*Ron Brown served as Commerce Secretary during the Clinton Administration and was an Army Officer, chief lobbyist for the National Urban League, law partner at a prestigious firm and elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee before his tragic plane crash in 1996. For further reading see, Holmes, Steven. Ron Brown: An Uncommon Life: New York, John Wiley & Sons, 2000.