The Rollin Sisters | Sisterhood: SC Suffragists - Episode 1


Frances Rollin was propelled into the national spotlight with the Pilot Boy steamship incident, in Charleston, South Carolina, where the captain refused her service due to the color of her skin. Frances Ann “Frank” Rollin was the oldest of five daughters, born into an elite, aristocratic, free Black family.

Carole Ione Lewis, the great-granddaughter of Frances Rollin Whipper, has written extensively about the history of the Rollin family, whose origins trace back to the island of Santo Domingo. Frances’ father, William Rollin, was a wealthy business owner in the lumber industry. William Rollin taught his daughters lessons on how to matriculate and have influence in a system of which they cannot be a part. The Rollin sisters tirelessly advocated for activism and civil rights following the Civil War.

In 1859, Frances Rollin travels to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she furthers her education at the Quaker Institute of Colored Youth. The other Rollin sisters also further their studies in higher education.


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