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This object from the Dr. Carl Russell Gross Collection, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates may be protected by copyright. The copyright status and/or the copyright owner of this object is unknown or undetermined. This content must be used in accordance with United States copyright law, which may require you to obtain permissions. Use of these materials for research and educational purposes may be covered by Fair Use. Please contact with any questions. All uses must include appropriate attribution.


A short biography written by Dr. Carl Russell Gross on the singer Matilda Sisseretta (Joynor) Jones. This work was part of a larger lifetime work by Dr. Gross, an unfinished manuscript that would be "something of the history of our race in (Rhode Island)."

On this history of this biography, he writes, "a request came from a student at Syracuse University, N. Y. to the Rhode Island Historical Society for information concerning Madame Jones and they referred her to me. Her doctoral dissertation is on the Negro's role in the 19th century concert life, her central figure being Madame Matilda Sissieretta ( Joynor) Jones who had lived here in Providence, R. I. This caused me to type a brief history of Madame Jones, this and other material I had collected was made available to her.

In the meantime I heard that Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass., had sought information from her church here as they were sponsoring a biographical encyclopedia on Noted American Women which would include her. I also sent them a copy of my notes and they sent them to Mr. William Lichtenwanger of the music · division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C, who is to write the article about her.

It has been a privilege and an honor to have personally known Madame Jones, the World's Greatest Negro Singer of her time and to have been able to collect the following information about her."

CG Biography 1 Supplemental 1.pdf (3481 kB)
Additional notes pertaining to Dr. Gross' biography on Madame Sissieretta Joynor Jones.

CG Biography 1 Supplemental 2.pdf (1017 kB)
"The Closing Chapters of the Life of 'Black Patti'," newspaper clipping from Providence Sunday Journal, July 16, 1933.

CG Biography 1 Supplemental 3.pdf (602 kB)
"Black Patti Left Only A Small Estate," newspaper clipping from Afro-American, New England Edition.

CG Biography 1 Supplemental 4.pdf (4377 kB)
"Black Patti," newspaper clipping from July 8, 1933.

CG Biography 1 Supplemental 5.pdf (7371 kB)
Photographs of Mme. Sissieretta Jones from newspaper clippings.