Charlotte Forten, 1837 – 1914: A List of Selected Materials & Links

BDC New Logo_Blue   charlotte

Charlotte Forten, born into a prominent Free Black family in Philadelphia, came to Port Royal, SC in 1862. She taught the newly freed people for a couple of years before returning North due to declining health. In 1878 she married the much younger Rev. Francis Grimké, nephew of ardent abolitionists Sarah Grimké and Angelina Grimké Weld.

Materials and links selected by Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA, Manager of the Beaufort District Collection in the Beaufort County Library (SC). Created 9 February 2012. All links active on 9 June 2017. Latest update: 9 June 2017

Web based resources:

“Only a Teacher: Schoolhouse Pioneers”

“Charlotte Forten: Biography” on

Charlotte Forten Grimké, 1837 – 1914 by the National Women’s History Museum

Charlotte Forten Enters Salem Normal School March 13, 1855 in Mass Moments

“Charlotte Forten Grimké: Poet and Essayist” by Jone Johnson Lewis on About Education website

Journals of Charlotte Forten, edited by Ray Allen Billington, 1953.$b92760

Come to the Beaufort District Collection to see these items:

SC B FORTEN A tribute to Charlotte Forten by Roberta Hughes Wright

SC B FORTEN Charlotte Forten, Black and free by Polly Longsworth

Grimké, Charlotte Lottie Forten (1837-1914) [BDC Vertical File]

Grimké Family [BCD Vertical File]

SC 371.1 JOU The Journals of Charlotte Forten Grimké edited by Brenda Stevenson, 1988 (BDC, HHI SC)

SC 371.1. JOU Journals of Charlotte Forten, edited by Ray Allen Billington, 1953. (BDC, HHI SC) Also available online through Hathitrust$b92760

Check out these materials from the Beaufort County Library:

973.7 WOR Words for the hour: A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry edited by Faith Barrett, contains Forten’s poem, “The Two Voices,” on pp. 41 -44. (BEA)

975.799 SPI Beaufort, South Carolina: Pages from the Past by Gerhard Spieler. (ALL)

791.43 CHA Charlotte Forten’s mission [videorecording]. (BEA, BDC, BLU, HHI)

370 WIL I dare not fail: notable African American women educators by Mary Wilds. (BEA, BLU)

371.1 JOU The journal of Charlotte L. Forten by Charlotte Forten, edited by Ray Allen Billington, 1953. ( BEA) Also available on Hathitrust website$b92760


“Teachers and Students outside Schoolhouse,” Civil War Stereoscopes, Beaufort District Collection