The Howard School
Backstory and Context
Charles Chesnutt began to attend school here in 1867. The Howard School was established by the Freedmen's Bureau with Andrew Jackson Chesnutt, Charles' father, serving as one of the trustees and by 1871, Charles was working as a pupil-teacher.
In 1877, after the state of North Carolina designated Howard as the training site for "negro" teachers, Principal Robert Harris chose Charles Chesnutt, who was only 19 at the time, as his first assistant. The name of the school "was changed to the State Colored Normal School."
In November 1880, Charles became principal of the school after Harris died of a long illness and would serve in this capacity until 1883 when he finally acted on his ambition to leave the South.
Chesnutt was followed by E.E. Smith who served 1883-1888, 1895-1898, and 1899-1933 as the leader of the school.
The library at Fayetteville State bears Chesnutt's name.
“Our History.” Fayetteville State University, https://www.uncfsu.edu/bronco-pride/our-history.
Chesnutt, Charles. The Journals of Charles W. Chesnutt. Ed. Richard H Broadhead. Duke University Press, 1993.