Charlotte Forten Grimké
(1837 - 1914)
In 1861 the Union army gained control of the Sea Islands of South Carolina. Soon after, in 1862, twenty-five-year-old Philadelphia-born Charlotte Forten volunteered to travel down to St. Helena Island to teach the newly freed black population, who mostly spoke Gullah creole. She stayed for two years before falling ill and moving back north to New England, where in 1878 at the age of forty-one she married a nephew of the abolitionist Grimké sisters.