Charlotte Augusta Burroughs Ray

Charlotte Augusta Burroughs Ray was from Savannah, Georgiaand was the second wife of Rev. Charles B. Ray. Records show that Charlotte and Charles married in 1840 and had seven children.2 In 1872, her daughter Charlotte became the first female lawyer in the United States. Florence Ray, another daughter of Charles and Charlotte, also became a lawyer.3 Another one of Charlotte's daughters, Henrietta Cordelia Ray, was a schoolteacher and an accomplished poet. Her most notable poem “Lincoln” received public recognition at the opening of the Freedman’s Monument in Washington D.C. in 1876.4

So while little else is known about Charlotte A. B. Ray, it is apparent that she valued her children's education. Charlotte's marriage to Charles was announced in The Liberator on January 17, 1840, where comical remarks were made regarding Ray wedding a Southern Woman, “Our esteemed brother Ray ‘goes with the South,’ so far as to take a Georgia lady for his wife, but we are positively assured that she has no cotton bales and that her influence will not have the least tendency to draw away her husband from his abolition integrity.”


Elizabeth Sobel, Black Literary History, Taught by Professor Pier Gabrielle Foreman, University of Delaware Spring 2013. 

Edited by Gwendolyn Meredith, University of Delaware.


[1] "MARRIAGES." The Liberator [Boston] 17 Jan. 1840: n. pag. Print.

[2] Barnes, L. Diane. "Ray, Charles B." Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895: From the

     Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass. Ed. Paul Finkelman. N.p.: Oxford UP, 2012. N.

     pag. Print.

[3] Christian, Charles Melvin, and Sari J. Bennett. Black Saga: The African American Experience : a

     Chronology. (New York: Houghton, 1999). Print.

[4] Henrietta Ray, A Fine Black Poet and Biographer. African American Registry, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. Link