Tag: United States Colored Troops

A Philadelphia community leader, abolitionists, and an education and civil rights activist, Burr was among the African American gentlemen who signed the broadside to recruit United States Colored Troops in Philadelphia, along with Robert Purvis, William T. Catto and William's son, Octavius. Burr was an organizer in the Underground Railroad, working in support of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. He was among the people, who raised funds for the defense of the Christiana Resistance men, who were tried for treason for not obeying the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. He is believed to be the son of Aaron Burr,...

Asher grew up as a third-generation free black, one of few blacks in North Branford, Connecticut to receive a formal education as a child. For nine years Asher pastored the Providence congregation. In time, he became well-known in black Baptist circles in the North, receiving invitations to pastor a number of black congregations. He finally accepted one of the calls, that of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Philadelphia. Asher became a prominent Baptist minister in the city of Philadelphia. On December 2,1859, 400 people gathered at his church to pray for John Brown at the time of Brown's scheduled...

Wagner was instrumental in the planning of the public funeral held to honor Octavius Catto. Catto's body laid in state at the City Armory at Broad and Race Streets on October 16, 1871. Wagner and Catto had become friends as they both worked on the recruitment and training of black troops. It was he, who encouraged Catto to join the Pennsylvania National Guard. General Wagner, an abolitionist and ardent Republican, served as the commander of Camp William Penn. The General Louis Wagner public school in the Oak Lane section of Philadelphia was named to honor him.

A founder of the Republican Party, Kelley gained national attention when he gave a speech against expanding slavery into the territories. He was considered to be a man of strict principles, who advocated for the recruitment of black troops in the Civil War and for extending the franchise to them afterwards. Kelley served on the Union League Committee supporting the raising of African American troops and establishment of Camp William Penn. Along with Thaddeus Stevens, Kelley use his political leverage to helped Catto end public transit segregation and achieve Pennsylvania's ratify the 14th and 15th Amendments. Kelley also introduced...

Arguably the most well-known 19th century anti-slavery and equal rights activist, Douglass spent considerable time in Philadelphia and was well connected in the African American community, as well as among white Republicans and the Union League. Douglass work with Philadelphians on black troop recruitment and his name appears on the "Men of Color of Philadelphia" recruitment poster. As a leader in the National Equal Rights League, Douglass worked with Catto to extend voting and citizenship rights to black men. Douglass was among the black leaders recognized by the Union League for their success in 1869. A Pennsylvania historical marker...

Lucretia (1793- 1880) and James (1788 - 1868) Mott were a power couple. By the time of the Civil War, Lucretia and James Mott were elder statespersons in the abolition movement. Lucretia also became a leading voice for women's suffrage, and she and James attended the first Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls. Both were supporters of John Brown and cared for Mary Brown in their home in Philadelphia after John Brown was hanged at Harper's Ferry. The training camp for black troops, Camp William Penn, was built on land owned by Union League member Edward M. Davis, the...

Bassett came to Philadelphia in 1855 from Connecticut and took an appointment at the Institute of Colored Youth as principal, teacher and librarian. In this role, he built upon the education philosophy of Charles Reason and engaged his students with some of the leading thinkers of the day. He had a close association with John Brown and during the Civil War he was among the men with Catto and Frederick Douglass recruiting black soldiers for the USCT. When President Grant appointed him as minister to Haiti, Bassett became the highest ranking African American in public service. A historical marker...

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