The Union League of Philadelphia

The Union League of Philadelphia was founded in 1862 as a patriotic society to support the Union cause and the policies of Abraham Lincoln. It laid the philosophical foundation for other Union Leagues and areas across a nation torn by the Civil War. The original League Club House was located at 1208 Chestnut Street. In 1863, it sponsored the organization of five black regiments (3rd, 6th, 8th, 22nd and 25th U.S. Colored Troops) in Philadelphia, as well as a “Free Military School” to train their officers. Several League leaders worked in collaboration with Catto and other black leaders at the time. When Pennsylvania ratified the 15th Amendment, the League presented Catto, William Forten, and Frederick Douglass with a ceremonial banner. The current League house at this site was occupied in 1864 and has a Pennsylvania Historical Marker. Today the Union League is a private, members-only club.