Forten, Charlotte

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  • Charlotte Forten (Aug. 17,1837- July 23,1914) was born in Philadelphia and arrived in Salem 1854.
  • She lived with the prominent Remond Family and attended Salem's Normal School (now Salem State College), becoming the first African American to graduate, in 1856. She began her teaching career at the Epes Grammar School in Salem. In her spare time, Charlotte wrote poetry and kept a journal, now owned by Phillips Library at Peabody Essex Museum. In 1864, Charlotte returned to Philadelphia and spent the next twelve years writing and publishing poems and essays, but also returned to teaching. In 1878 she married Francis Grimke.
  • Salem State University recently opened the Charlotte Forten Legacy Room, on the third floor of Meier Hall, honoring Salem State’s earliest African American graduate, Charlotte Forten. It will be open to the public.
  • A new public park at 289 Derby Street in Salem was named "Charlotte Forten Park" and dedicated on Sept. 20, 2019.

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Black History
  • Vertical File in Salem Collection- Forten, Chalotte
  • "Full Circle: abolitionist Charlotte Forten Grimke returns to Salem" Salem Evening News, Feb. 14,2002 p. B1 (reenactment by performer Valarie Boyer)