Ellen Murray

A white woman sitting next to two black girls.

Ellen Murray with two students. Image from KnowItAll.

(1834-1908) Ellen Murray and Laura Towne were volunteers of the Port Royal Experiment. The Port Royal Experiment began during the Civil War when formerly enslaved people successfully worked on the land abandoned by the white residents. Northern volunteers came to the area to help the formerly enslaved people become more self-sufficient. Ellen Murray and Laura Towne established the Penn Center on St. Helena Island during this time. The Penn Center helped students learn to read and write, acquire land rights, provide medical care, and minister to those living in that area.