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Charlotte Forten Grimké
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Birth: Aug. 17, 1837
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jul. 23, 1914
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Charlotte belonged to the prominent member of the famous Forten-Purvis family. Her family were activists for Black causes and Charlotte proved to be just as influential an activist and leader of civil rights. Her parents were Robert Bridges and Mary Woods Forten. Her father and his brother in law, Robert Purvis were key members of the Philadelphia Vigilant Committee, an antislavery, slave assistance network. Her mother worked in the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Charlotte's grandfather was James Forten, Sr., a successful abolitionist and sailmaker in Philadelphia. Charlotte married Francis J. Grimke when she was 41,on December 19, 1878. Francis was a Presbyterian minister who graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and Princeton Theological Seminary. They had one daughter, Theodora Cornelia in June of 1880 who died as an infant.

Charlotte became a teacher in 1856 due to financial difficulties . She taught at Epes Grammar School in Salem but after two years tuberculosis forced her to return to Philadelphia. The school was unhappy to see her go and promised her a position upon her return. While in Salem, her poetry talent emerged, her works published in various antislavery publications such as the Liberator and Anglo African magazine. At home, she became the first black teacher involved in the Civil War's Sea Islands mission. In South Carolina, she touched many students and thoroughly enjoyed her work. She chronicled this time in her essays, "Life on the Sea Islands" which were published in Atlantic Monthly in the May and June issues of 1864.

She held national influence recruiting teachers in the late 1860's and on July 3, 1873 she became one a clerk at the U.S. Treasury Department: she was one of 15 out of a 200 candidates. She wed her husband at this time and tragically the couple lost their child as an infant. Charlotte then aided her husband in his ministry and organized a women's missionary group. Her husband became pastor at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. and Charlotte only continued her civil rights efforts. Her last efforts were answering an Evangelist editorial, " Relations of Blacks and Whites: Is There a Color Line in New England?" Her answer asserted that unlike the assertions of the author that Blacks were not prejudiced against, Black American did achieve over extraordinary odds and simply wanted fair and respectful treatment. 
Created by: Nicole
Record added: Jun 28, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20147190
Charlotte <i>Forten</i> Grimké
Added by: Anonymous
Charlotte <i>Forten</i> Grimké
Added by: Anonymous
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May your legacy never be forgotten. Bless you Mrs. Grimke.
- Gail Akers
 Added: Jun. 9, 2010

- In Memory
 Added: Aug. 3, 2009

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