Built circa 1875, this row house was the home of Charlotte Forten Grimké from 1881 to 1886. Grimké (1838-1914) was a pioneer Black female educator, an early supporter of women’s rights, a writer, and an active abolitionist. She was among the first group of northern educators to enter the war-torn, isolated areas of South Carolina to provide instruction to enslaved people living within Union-occupied territory.
Most significantly, Grimké kept a journal of her experiences at Port Royal, South Carolina, which provides a vivid picture of her students’ progress and growth. In her time, her descriptions of their progress helped to negate the presumption that Black people could not benefit from education, which was widespread among white people in her day. Grimké’s work set an important example for the increased involvement of northern Black men and women in the task of lending their skills in support of the newly freed Black population of the South.
DC Inventory: March 3, 1979
National Register and National Historic Landmark: May 11, 1976