Negro Convention Movement, Philadelphia Timelines: Setting the Stage for Catto’s Life

Negro Convention Movement begins in Philadelphia. The convention movement among northern free black men symbolized the growth of a broad black activist network by the
mid-nineteenth century. Conventions met dozens of times and were held through 1864.
Convention delegates consistently linked the status of free blacks and the enslaved in their calls for meetings. In 1855, organizers of the Philadelphia convention wrote that “the elevation of the free man is inseparable (sic) from, and lies at the very threshold of the great work of the slave’s restoration to freedom.”

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