James Forten Jr., the son of James Forten, Sr. and Charlotte Vandine Forten, was born in 1816 or 1817 and educated at the Pennsylvania Abolition Society Clarkson School. An artist, he lived in the Forten family home and worked in his father’s sail loft before moving to New York in the spring of 1844 to avoid the financial troubles his family encountered after his father’s death. James’ wife, Jane M. Vogelsang, supported the family through her work as a teacher at the New York Colored School. They had a son named James. Jane Forten died in 1852 at the age of 33. In 1864, James Forten Jr. enlisted in the navy in Baltimore but was discharged three years later. There is no further record of him after that point.

James Forten Jr. (circa 1816-?)