Charlotte Forten Grimke was one of the major abolitionist leaders during the American Civil War. She became a member of the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society where she took over coalition building and money-raising. On occasion she would give speeches to the public on her abolitionists views. As the Civil War began she became the first black teacher to teach white students in Salem, Massachusetts in 1862. Also in 1862 she traveled to St. Helena Island in South Carolina to work as a teacher in the Port Royal Experiment. Port Royal was a Confederate fort captured by the Union which became the escape for many runaway and abandoned slaves. Forten worked here as a teacher to help educate the former slaves. However, she took her work much more seriously just to educate the freed slaves. She found herself visiting their homes and making a more personal connection with the people so that she could instill higher values in their lives. Sadly, after eighteen months of work Forten had to return to her home in Philadelphia because of health reasons. She would continue teaching there and later return to the South to teach but not until long after the civil war had ended. However, her journals taken from her first stint in South Carolina have shown historians the truly humanitarian work Charlotte Forten Grimke had done during the Civil War to help in the advancement of African Americans during such a chaotic time period.