Unveiling of the Grimké Historical Marker

Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 10:30AM

321 East Bay Street, Charleston

Blake-Grimke House 321 East Bay
Image courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

On May 5, 2015, the Friends of the Library at the College of Charleston will inaugurate a new program celebrating intellectual and historic sites in the city of Charleston beginning with the unveiling of a historical marker outside the childhood home of the Grimké Sisters. Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and Sue Monk Kidd will take part in a short dedication ceremony on the George Street side of the Blake-Grimké House at 321 East Bay Street, Charleston, the current site of Pierce, Herns, Sloan & Wilson, LLC.

The Grimké marker is the first of a number of historical markers that the Friends of the Library at the College of Charleston will erect honoring the intellectual and cultural history of the region. Future markers will memorialize notable figures such as artist Edwin August Harleston, naturalists John Bachman and John James Audubon, physician William Charles Wells, and architect Robert Mills.

Free and open to the public.

Paid parking at the Aquarium Garage on 21 George Street. Directions here.

To make a tax deductible contribution to the historical marker fund, click here. Please choose the “Friends of the Library Fund” and type “FOL Historical Marker Fund” into the Comments field.


Text of Historic Marker:


This Charleston double house was built before 1789 by William Blake, a planter and descendant of former Proprietary Governor Joseph Blake. By 1803 Mary Smith Grimke, descendant of Landgrave Thomas Smith, and Judge John F. Grimke, a planter and state Supreme Court justice, and their 11 children occupied the property. Among them were Sarah (1792-1873) and Angelina (1805-1879) Grimké who became leading advocates for equal rights for African Americans and women. From 1836-1838 the sisters, the first female agents of the abolitionist movement, traveled the Northeast as lecturers and organizers. In 1837 they helped organize the first national convention of white and black women. Also in 1837 Sarah published a full-fledged argument for women’s equal rights. The next year Angelina became the first American woman to address a legislative body, speaking to a committee of the Mass. legislature. Neither sister ever returned to Charleston.

Sponsored by the College of Charleston Friends of the Library, 2015

Return to Sarah and Angelina Grimké Day Events