From the 1856 journal of Charlotte Forten:
Tuesday, March 13. Went through the examination and entered the Normal School. I have not yet heard from father; but as I had to give no pledge to remain a certain length of time, and this is the only opportunity I should have until another term, I thought it best to enter the school. It was with a very delightful sensation of relief that I received the welcome intelligence of my being admitted; for greatly had I feared it might be otherwise….
Friday, March 16. To my great surprise, received a letter from father summoning me to return home as soon as possible. I feel deeply grieved; it seems harder than ever to leave now that I have just entered upon a course of study which I so earnestly hoped would thoroughly qualify me for the duties of a teacher. The few days I have spent at the Normal School have been very pleasant although I have felt a little strange and lonely. But the teachers are kind, and the teaching so thorough and earnest that it increases the love of knowledge and the desire to acquire it…. Although it would give me much pleasure to see my kind friends at home, I cannot but regret that I must go now, feeling as I do that a year longer at school would be of great benefit to me. This evening went to Miss Shepard [her former teacher] who earnestly declared that I must not go, and who made me a very kind offer, which I do not think can be accepted with the little hope I now possess of being able to repay it.
Saturday, March 17. This morning Mr. Edwards [the principal of the Normal School] came to see me, and told me that he had no doubt of my being able to obtain a situation as teacher here if I went through the Normal School. He wished me to write to father and assure him of this. Miss Shepard urged me to consent to her writing to him about what she proposes. I do indeed feel obliged to her for her very great kindness to me, whether it be as she wishes it or not. I shall continue at school until I hear from home again, as Mr. Edwards said he would like to have me do so.
Quoted in The Journals of Charlotte Forten Grimke, ed. by Brenda Stevenson (Oxford University Press, 1988).