One of the first schools for blacks in the South, Penn School, was reorganized as Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School in 1901. As a result of this change, incorporating principals of education found at both Tuskegee and Hampton Institutes, Penn became an international model. Its program was removed to the Beaufort County school system in 1948.
After Union occupation of the sea islands in 1861, two northerners, Laura Towne and Ellen Murray, came to assist the freed blacks of the area establishing Penn School here in 1862. The earliest known black teacher was Charlotte Forten, who traveled all the way from Massachusetts to help her people.
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