Charlotte Andrews Stephens

Jan 30, 2016

Charlotte Andrews Stephens was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1854. Stephens’ father, William Wallace Andrews, founded Methodist Wesley Chapel, one of the earliest African American churches in the city. The church served as a private school for freedmen after Union troops occupied Little Rock in 1863. It was later run by the Society of Friends and named Union School. In 1869, at the age of fifteen, Charlotte became the first African American teacher in Little Rock when she substituted for her ill white teacher. The following year she and three other African American teachers were hired in Little Rock schools. Stephens worked in the schools system for the next seventy years. In 1910, Stephens Elementary School was named in her honor. The original building was replaced in 1950 and a third opened in 2001. I’m John Kirk of the UALR History Department and this has been an Arkansas moment.