Shaw University's Role in History


Did you know Raleigh has the first building ever established for the higher education of African American women in the United States?

In 1874, Shaw University, having already made progress as the one of the nation's first historically black universities, opened Estey Hall for the higher education of African American women. However, nearly a decade before the construction of Estey Hall on Shaw University's campus, Sarah Tupper (wife of Shaw University's founder, Henry Martin Tupper) began teaching classes to freed women at the Guion Hotel, alongside her husband's classes for the men. The Guion Hotel is long gone, having stood where the North Carolina Museum of History now stands; however, Estey Hall is still standing as a National Landmark on Shaw's Campus.

We love sharing Raleigh's Hidden History! If you love it, too, check out our upcoming Great Raleigh Trolley history tour on September 27 --->