“Miss Maggie” Walker, the daughter of a former slave, who in 1903 became the first woman of any race to found and become president of an American bank in Richmond, VA. Three of its branches still operate. Maggie Walker also founded a newspaper and a department store called “Saint Luke’s Emporium.”
Southern Lady, Union Spy Elizabeth Van Lew was a well-born resident of Richmond, VA who built & operated an extensive spy ring for the United States during the American Civil War. Under the nose of the Confederate government, she gathered intelligence, hampered the Southern war effort, & helped scores of Union soldiers escape from Richmond prisons. A Northern sympathizer in the Confederate capital, she led what one historian called "the most productive espionage operation of the Civil War."