Most of Sarah Jane Woodson’s life was spent as an educator and an influence on Ohio’s Black youth who were able to pursue college. She would make new career movements following the Civil War and become involved in politics as well.
For a period during the Civil War, Oberlin closed its doors due to the financial strain of keeping it open. Also, a chunk of the students left. These students were mostly mixed and sent by plantation owners. While Woodson stayed on for a while, she would eventually move to Hillsboro, North Carolina. Here she would teach at the Freedman’s Bureau’s school for Black girls in 1868.
Around this time, Sarah Jane Woodson would marry AME minister Rev. Jordan Early towards the end of 1868. She would assist him with his ministry work towards the end of the 1880s. The early 1890s saw Woodson give a number of speeches on the role of Black women in social movements. In doing so, she brought a spotlight to the condition of Black women—and Black people in general—throughout the American South.
Her push for a stronger role for Black women in various movements resulted in her becoming the national superintendent of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s Colored Division. This was a position taken up in 1888.
Sarah Jane Woodson Early remained active into her 80s and regularly gave speeches. She would pass away in August 1907 at 81.