Cornelia Foster Bradford

Cornelia Foster Bradford - A Legacy of Public Service

“We Are All Our Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper” - excerpts from a presentation by Natalia Loffe

  • Cornelia Foster Bradford lived in Jersey City beginning in 1893.
  •  She was a teacher, social worker and advocate for children's rights. 
  •  Cornelia Bradford led an investigation into the working conditions of children which led to the formation of the Child Protective League and a comprehensive child labor bill.
  •  She founded "Whittier House" a social settlement with various forms of assistance to the poor immigrants of Paulus Hook and their children including the first free kindergarten and the first free playground in Jersey City.
  •  For her incredible efforts she was appointed by Mayor Otto Whittpenn to the Jersey City Board of Education in 1912, becoming the first woman in our city's history to serve on it. 
  •  She was responsible for new Public School No. 16 to be built in 1916 in the heart of Paulus Hook opened in 1918 due to the “Black Tom Island Explosion”. Public School No. 16 was proudly officially named the Bradford School in 1944 and still carries her name today. The newspaper headline in 1918 read Dedicate City’s “Cosmopolitan School” - No. 16, because of all the nations represented at the school. It still remains the  “Cosmopolitan School” with over 70 nations represented.

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