A Black Underground: Resistance to Slavery, 1833-1860

The Underground Railroad is an important historical link with which most Pennsylvanians are familiar. Ever since William Still, the Black histo­rian, published his famous record of fugitive aid in 1872, however, many have questioned whether in reality the Underground Railroad existed. Some say that fugitive aid in Pennsylvania was rendered individually and spontaneously. Others say that an...
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Calligraphy Version of Washington Irving’s Poem “The Wife”

Amy Matilda Cassey, the wife of affluent African American abolitionist, businessman, and community leader Joseph Cassey, was active in the Philadelphia Female Antislavery Society, local black literary and debating societies, and reform movements of the day. Her greatest contribution, however, may be an album she compiled that spans nearly a quarter-century. From 1833 to 1856, Cassey filled her...
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Fanny M. Jackson and Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth

This idea was deep in my soul. Where it came from I cannot tell. It was in me to get an education and teach my people.” The sentiment was written nearly a century ago, in 1912, by Fanny M. Jackson Coppin (1837-1913), principal of Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth (ICY). All but forgotten today, Coppin and her distinguished career of nearly four decades at the Institute for...
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