W. Ashbie Hawkins:

Personal Life

William Ashbie Hawkins, one of Baltimore's first black lawyers, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on August 2, 1862 to the Rev. Robert Hawkins and the former Susie Polk or Cobb. [1] On March 14 of 1885 he married Ada M. McMechen (1867-?), also Virginia-born, in Baltimore with the Rev. Benjamin Brown officiating. [2] They had two daughters, Aldina (Haynes; 1885-1940) and Roberta (West; 1891-?). [3]

Hawkins graduated in 1885 from Centenary Biblical Institute (later to become Morgan College), Maryland University (1891), and Howard University (1892). [4]

Hawkins became involved with the independent Republican movement in 1897, which featured George M. Lane. He made speeches at Committee of 100 meetings and was almost selected by the Republican Party as a candidate [5]

The 1920s show Hawkins with a new wife, Mary (Mamie) Sorrell, and a new house, 929 Arlington Avenue in Govans. [6] Hawkins was a pioneer in that neighborhood as a committee was established in 1917 to attempt to prevent Negro settlement of the area. [7]

Hawkins died from heart disease on April 3, 1941 at Provident Hospital. He had been confined there for seven months, and his terminal sickness lasted for four years. He was buried two days later at Mount Auburn Cemetery in South Baltimore. [8] His survivors included his wife Mamie, daughter Roberta, three sisters (Mrs. Susie Blythe of Jersey City, Mrs. Clara Johnson of Philadelphia, and Mrs. Mamie Simms of Chicago) and two grandchildren. [9]

Legal Activities

Professional Career


Historic Sites


Return to W. Ashbie Hawkins Introduction

Return to Civil Rights & Politics Introduction

Return to The Road from Frederick to Thurgood Introduction