Past Meeting

A woodcut from an 1837 publication of John Greenleaf Whittier's anti-slavery poem, 'Our Countrymen in Chains.' Based on a sculptured medallion, the design was originally adopted as the seal of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in England in 1787, and later used as the emblem of the abolitionist movement in America.

A Brief History of Freedom and Slavery in Pennsylvania

by Dave Montalvo

Slavery was practiced in the North as well as the South, although in the North it had mostly ended before the Civil War. Slavery as it existed in Pennsylvania was unique in several respects, not the least of which being the extremely early opposition to it. Yet in contrast to that opposition stands the fact that slavery lasted longer in Pennsylvania than in many of the other Northern states. Unfortunately, an exhaustive history would really require far more time that we have at a regular Society meeting, so only the major milestones of slavery in Pennsylvania along with facts and figures for Montgomery County were presented, along with a very brief overview of the local abolition movement and the Underground Railroad. Also discussed were the differences between slavery and indentured servitude.

Dave Montalvo teaches physics at the Upper Merion Area High School, and is the current president of the King of Prussia Historical Society.

NOTE: Before the presentation, we held a brief Society business meeting to conduct elections, present the 2019 financial report, and recognize the S. Paul Teamer award recipient for 2020.

This presentation was held at the Easttown Library & Information Center in Berwyn, PA on Sunday 19 January 2020, starting at 2 pm.


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