Grimké Sisters Tour

The first female abolitionist agents and pioneers of women’s rights in America

Don’t miss Carol & Lee Ann’s original tour as seen on “I Love the Lowcountry” and in “The Post and Courier.”

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About The Original Grimké Sisters Tour

Lee Ann (far left) and Carol (far right) had the opportunity to meet Sue Monk Kidd (second from left) when she came to Charleston for the unveiling of the historical Grimke' plaque. Christine (second from right), is married to a descendent of Angelina Grimke'.

(Left to right) Lee Ann Bain, Sue Monk Kidd, Christine (married to a descendant of Angelina Grimke’) and Carol Ezell-Gilson.

Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling novel, “The Invention of Wings” (Jan. 2014), has brought the story of the Grimké sisters to light. Though infamous abolitionists and feminists in their day, Angelina and Sarah Grimké have remained obscure in American history and (mostly) unrecognized in Charleston, city of their birth. The popularity of Kidd’s novel led to the creation of this walking tour by Lee Ann Bain and Carol Ezell-Gilson as part of the Preservation Society’s Fall Tours this past October, 2014. The tour sold out at every offering. Due to the success of the October 2014 tours, the  Grimké Sisters Tour is now offered on demand throughout the year. Make your reservations today!

The Grimké Sisters Tour leads guests through historic downtown Charleston on a discovery experience. Kidd’s novel is referenced and authentic sites are visited. The tour tells the true story separating fact from fiction. Much more of the remarkable Grimké family saga is revealed along the 2 hour and 15 minute walk; the inspiring story of these two courageous women has fascinating connections and surprising twists and turns. Those who have not read the novel enjoy it as much as those who have.

To sign up for the tour, go to “Get In Touch” on the website. Enter your contact information, desired tour date and time, and the number of people in your party. Cost is $25.00 per person with a minimum of 4 people or $100 a tour for groups smaller than 4 people. Special rates on request for groups larger than 10. Tour starts in front of the Library Society, 164 King Street. Lee Ann or Carol will be in touch promptly to arrange your Grimké Sisters Tour.

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After reading and thoroughly enjoying “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd, three friends and I decided to take Lee Ann’s tour of the Grimkés. Her knowledge of Charleston and all its history is absolutely remarkable. More…


Phoenix, AZ

Recently, I read Sue Monk Kidd’s latest book “The Invention of Wings” which is a story about the Grimké family. It wasn’t until I finished the story and read the epilogue that I realized the story was based on fact. The Grimké sisters were very real More… Nancy

Washington, GA

Your walking tour this morning was one of the best and most informative I have ever experienced. I can only imagine the amount of time and research that went into such a stellar presentation. Loved all the visuals, too! More… Maureen

Charleston, SC

Grimké Sisters Biography

A new biography of the Grimké sisters is in the works. The author of this forthcoming book (likely publication date is 2018) is Louise W. Knight.
For more information see

Sarah and Angelina, the Grimke' Sisters". The info - size (54" x 36") and "acrylic on canvas. Prints can be purchased on request.

“Sarah and Angelina, the Grimké Sisters from Charleston”

This double portrait of the Grimké sisters is a painting I have wanted to paint for 15 years. The idea first came to me when I was working as historian/guide in the Council Chamber of Charleston’s historic City Hall. The portraits of these two courageous women (more than) deserve to be included in the collection of paintings housed in the beautiful Chamber, a place denied to them in their lifetimes because of their gender. Even if they had been allowed to speak in the Chamber, their views on abolition would have been silenced.

As far as I know, this is the only painting of Sarah and Angelina Grimké. The lack of actual images of the two was an obstacle that kept me from attempting the double portrait for many years.

In November, 2013, I gave a talk on Sarah and Angelina Grimké to the Sisterhood at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston. In preparing for the presentation, I was inspired again by the sisters’ remarkable story and resolved to attempt the double portrait.

In January, 2014, I began the painting using the images of Sarah and Angelina at mid-life. The painting soon took on a life of its own.

In June, 2014, the idea of a walking tour based on Sue Monk Kidd’s popular novel “The Invention of Wings” was proposed to Lee Ann and me by the Preservation Society to be part of their Fall Tours in October. We thought it was a great idea and created the tour this past summer.

I mentioned the double portrait of the sisters, my work in progress, and the Preservation Society suggested exhibiting it in their shop on King Street during the Fall Tours.

The double portrait is 54” x 36”, acrylic on canvas. At this time, the portrait is not for sale. Prints can be purchased on request.

Get in Touch

To book your Grimké Sisters tour reservation please complete the form below or call Lee Ann Bain at (843)-822-5248 or Carol Ezell-Gilson at (843)-478-8414. Lee Ann or Carol will be in touch with you shortly.