These resources about Laura M. Towne, a woman of character, courage, and commitment who dedicated 44 years of her life to Penn School and educating the former enslaved and their children, are available through the Beaufort County Library or over the internet. List compiled and selected by Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA, Historical Resources Coordinator, Beaufort County Library, S.C. Original posting: 26 July 2011; Latest update: 29 June 2015 All links active on 29 June 2015.
Web based resources:
African American Registry entry about Laura Towne found at http://aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/laura-m-towne-was-primetime-educator
“Entering the World of a Civil War Missionary, Laura M. Towne” by Jeff Bridgers, Picture This blog at the Library of Congress, 20 November 2015 found at http://blogs.loc.gov/picturethis/2015/11/entering-the-world-of-a-civil-war-missionary-laura-m-towne/ (Accessed 20 November 2015)
SC 372.757 UNI University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.The Penn School papers in the Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. Finding Aid also available online at http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/p/Penn_School.html
Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne; Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina 1862 – 1884 edited by Rupert Sargeant Holland, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1912. Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/cu31924074445267
The Freedmen’s Record: Organ of the New England Freedmen’s Society, vol. 1, 1865 Available on Hathitrust website at http://hdl.handle.net/2027/inu.32000000353468
Pathfinder to Penn School (https://bdcbcl.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/penn-school-3859k4scvdgpj-45/) prepared by staff of the Beaufort District Collection.
Pathfinder to Missionary Teachers to the Freedmen (https://bdcbcl.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/missionary-teachers-to-the-freedmen-3859k4scvdgpj-46/) prepared by staff of the Beaufort District Collection.
Come to the Beaufort District Collection to see these items:
Her obituary is on file in the BDC.
We have two vertical files related to her filed as Towne, Laura Matilda, 1825-1901 and Laura M. Towne Library in the BDC.
SC 370 SWI The Northern Teacher in the South, 1862 – 1870 by Henry Lee Swift (New York: Octagon Books, 1967). BDC
SC 370.973 ALB The Plantation School by Anthony Gerald Albanese (New York: Vantage Press, 1976). BDC.
SC 370.9757 DAV The Penn School of St. Helena: Breaking the Shackles of Illiteracy on the Sea Islands of South Carolina, 1862 to 1922 by Marc Charlton David (Doctoral Dissertation, Syracuse University, 1999). BDC
SC 370.9757 HAR The History of the Penn School under its Founders at St. Helena Island, Frogmore, South Carolina, 1862-1908 by Yvonne Bailey Harris (Doctoral Dissertation, American University, 1979). BDC
SC 370.9757 JOR Across the Bridge: Penn School and Penn Center by Francis Harold Jordan (Doctoral Dissertation, University of South Carolina, 1991). BDC
SC 371.82996 BUT Schooling the Freed People: Teaching, Learning, and the Struggle for Black Freedom, 1861-1876 by Ronald E. Butchart.
SC 372.757 UNI University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection. The Penn School papers in the Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. Finding Aid also available online at http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/p/Penn_School.html
SC 975.799 DAB Sea Island Diary: A History of St. Helena Island, 1983.
975.799 JAC Yankee missionaries in the South: the Penn School experiment by Elizabeth Jacoway. (BDC, BEA)
SC 975.799 MAR Lowcountry Gossip by Chlotilde R. Martin, 1930? Photocopy of newspaper article, 1 sheet.
SC 975.799 TOW Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne:Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, 1862-1884, 1912. (This edition only in BDC). There is an Internet Archive e-version of the 1912 edition of this book at https://archive.org/details/cu31924074445267. Other editions available at ALL. Also available online through Hathitrust at http://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89098875784
Penn Center, Inc. Penn School Papers, 1862-1976 [33 Microfilm reels]
The Penn School, 1862-1948 [Microfilm]: A Look at Negro Education in South Carolina by Betsy Jacoway Burns, 1968.
Check out these materials from the Beaufort County Library:
REF 975.73 SOU Entry in South Carolina Encyclopedia (ALL)
975.799 JAC Yankee Missionaries in the South: The Penn School Experiment by Elizabeth Jacoway, 1980. (BDC, BEA)
975.799 TOW Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne: Written from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, 1862-1884, 1996. (ALL) https://archive.org/details/cu31924074445267 and/or http://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89098875784
The legend for location codes: Beaufort District Collection (BDC); Beaufort Branch Library (BEA); Bluffton Branch Library (BLU); Hilton Head Island Branch Library (HHI); Lobeco Branch Library (LOB); St. Helena Branch Library (STH).
Note: Current hours and branch locations are posted on the Beaufort County Library’s (SC) website.