Catto Family Arrives in Philadelphia Timelines: The Catto Years

William Catto’s family leaves Charleston, South Carolina for Baltimore, Maryland with the intent of William going to Liberia as a Presbyterian missionary and teacher in the coastal town of Nanna Kroo. When the South Carolina Presbytery uncovered writings where William wrote to a friend: “Keep the flame burning…”, his license is revoked and orders issued to arrest him and return him South. William packed his family and fled to Pennsylvania. O.V. Catto and his family arrived in Philadelphia, after a short stay in New Jersey. In Philadelphia, OV Catto attends the segregated Vaux Primary School and then enrolled in the Lombard Street Grammar School. His father becomes pastor of the First African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which was founded by James Gloucester.

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