Saturday October 11, 2014 – Tour the Germantown Underground Railroad Sites
This is part of Moonstone Arts Centers Hidden History presentation on the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia – October 2014
The Historic Germantown Passport entitles an individual to one visit to all 16 Historic Germantown attractions, excluding special events and programs where additional admission fees may apply. The Passport expires one year from the date of purchase and is included in the tour price of $25. This program is meant to introduce you to these sites with short presentations, you will want to use your passport to return for more.
We will gather at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street at 12:30pm and the bus will leave at 1:00pm. Discussion will take place on the bus as well as at the sites. We should be back at AAMP by 4pm.
African American Museum – 701 Arch St.
Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776 – 1876, recounts the stories of and contributions made by people of African descent in through a narrated, interactive timeline.
Fair Hill Burial Grounds – 2900 Germantown Ave
A historic cemetery founded by the Religious Society of Friends in 1703 and revived in the 1840’s by the Hicksite Quaker community, many abolition and early women’s rights activist including the Mott and Purvis families are buried here.
The Underground Railroad / Harriet Tubman Mural, 2900 Germantown Ave
Sam Donovan, assisted by students from Congreso de Latinos Unidos, created The Harriet Tubman and The Underground Railroad mural to commemorate the life and accomplishments of those who participated in the Underground Railroad.
The First Protest against Slavery – 5109 Germantown Ave
Here in 1688, at the home of Tunes Kunders, an eloquent protest was written by a group of German Quakers. Signed by Pastorius and three others, it preceded by 92 years the passage of the nation’s first state abolition law.
Mennonite Meeting House – 6119 Germantown Ave
In 1683, thirteen Dutch-speaking Mennonite and Quaker families settled in what is now Germantown. This is the site of the first Mennonite burial ground (1704), the first Mennonite Meetinghouse (1708), and the first Mennonite baptisms and communion in America (1708). In addition, Mennonite theology and conscience contributed to America’s first written petition against slavery, penned in 1688 and sent to the Quaker monthly, quarterly and yearly meetings. The current building dates to 1770.
Johnson House – 6306 Germantown Ave
Built in 1768 for John Johnson, this was home to three generations of a Quaker family who worked to abolish slavery and improve living conditions for freed African Americans. This house was a station on the Underground Railroad.
Mt. Airy United Fellowship Church – 701 W. Johnson Street
Similar to the old time slave churches of the 19th Century, this church was moved from the Rittenhouse Town estate.
Cliveden – 6401 Germantown Ave
Cliveden, is one of America’s most well-preserved historic sites, the 1767 building contains stellar furniture and decorative art and remains one of the nation’s best-documented and least-altered colonial houses. Cliveden’s story spans four centuries of American history.
Plymouth Meeting Friends Meeting House, Germantown Ave & Butler Pike.
Plymouth Meeting Quaker meetinghouse was built in 1708. “The entire village was abolitionist. . . . It’s the most intact Underground Railroad village in my experience,” says Charles L. Blockson. The meetinghouse and practically every home and store in the crossroads hamlet was used to hide runaway slaves. All the buildings still stand, and in some cases, descendants of those courageous Quaker abolitionists still live in the same houses. Perhaps the most activist family in the village was the Corsons, whose members were constantly sticking their necks out, risking arrest and violence, to aid slaves on the run.