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Network to Freedom

Saturday, July 1, 2006

In July 2006 HSP received a grant from the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, a subsidiary of the National Park Service, for the project, "From Slavery to Freedom: An Interactive Network to Learning."  This project will make rare and fragile collections available online for researchers, educators, and the public for the first time.  Accompanied by lesson plans, essays, background readings, and links to related historical sites, these digital resources will represent a crucial first step towards building a central interpretive resource for Philadelphia’s African American history, linking stories and places together and to the larger history of our nation’s African American past. 

These digital resources will include: Online facsimiles and edited transcriptions of key documents, K-12 lesson plans, supplementary readings, and links to collections from HSP, local archives, and historic Underground Railroad (UGRR) related sites. These documents represent important aspects of the organization and practice of the UGRR, the varieties of assistance offered to fugitive slaves from 1790—1865 (including early legal cases), the links between vigilance activities in PA and NY, the place of the UGRR in the larger abolition movement, and the related affiliations of the movement's practitioners.

Among the documents to be digitized are:

Journal C of Vigilance Committee, William Still, from the PAS Papers

Account book of the Vigilance Committee, PAS Papers

Constitution and minutes of the Junior Anti-Slavery Society of Philadelphia, PAS papers

Actions involving fugitive slaves, 1786-1834, PAS papers

Actions involving illegal enslavement of free blacks, 1787-1830, PAS papers

Vigiliant Committee of Philadelphia records, 1839-44

Letters and speeches of Jacob C. White (secretary of the Vigilant Committee of Philadelphia), American Negro Historical Society papers

Newspaper excerpts, Germantown Telegraph, Public Ledger, and The Christian Recorder (organ of the Mother Bethel AME Church)

Public remarks by David Paul Brown (of Mother Bethel AME Church) and Robert Purvis, 1810-1841, Mother Bethel AME Church

Select correspondence, Johnson family papers, held at the Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust

The project will begin in October 2006; materials will be available online by September 2007.

Related pages: Pennsylvania Abolition Society Papers