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a book about Harrisburg...

by George F. Nagle


Table of Contents

Study Areas:



Free Persons of Color

Underground Railroad

The Violent Decade

US Colored Troops

Civil War

Part Three
Approaching Storms

Chapter Seven

On 21 April 1825, several Maryland men walked into the Dauphin County Courthouse on Market Street in Harrisburg leading a bound man that one of them claimed as a runaway slave. Because the Southerners were bearing the proper documentation, the alleged slave was placed in jail until a hearing could be arranged before the county judge. An extensive hearing soon took place, during which time news about the event spread through the small African American community in Harrisburg. Most of the town’s African American residents lived in an area two blocks east of the courthouse and it did not take long before “a great number of blacks” had assembled in the dirt streets outside of the building.

The courthouse was built a considerable distance back from the street, allowing plenty of room for a substantial crowd to assemble on the brick-paved courtyard that occupied the ground between the front entrance and the street. Observers noted, with alarm, that numerous men in the gathering crowd of African Americans were “armed with clubs and cudgels,” and that the crowd was in a surly mood.

Although slave catchers had been making raids into the nearby countryside and parading captured fugitives through the streets of Harrisburg for many years, this was the first time that the arrival of a group of these men had triggered an overtly hostile reaction from the town’s black residents. Inside the courtroom, the judge, having reached a decision, remanded the slave into the custody of the purported Maryland slave owner, and the men prepared to exit the courthouse with their prize. Someone must have warned the courthouse staff of the impending trouble brewing just outside, because deputies were summoned to accompany the men and the slave out of the building.

When the door of the courthouse opened, the deputies and the slave catchers were greeted by what a reporter described as “a large crowd of colored men and boys.” There were probably many white onlookers as well. The whites, sensing the unusual mood of the assembled black residents of town, were undoubtedly watching and waiting from a safer distance to see what would happen next. As the party of slave catchers descended the steps from the brick courthouse building into the courtyard on Market Street, the temper of the crowd reached its boiling point.

A melee broke out as many of the African American men and boys, in an attempt to free the fugitive from his captors, “came streaming in hot haste” upon the Marylanders. The scene was chaotic, frightening, and quite unlike anything Harrisburg had ever experienced. The tumult ended abruptly when one of the slave catchers pulled his pistol and fired into the rioters, wounding a man in the arm. The crowd pulled back and the Southerners hurried to a hotel with the captured slave intact.

Although many in the crowd followed them to the hotel, no more violence occurred and the men carried the slave back to Maryland without further incident. Harrisburg’s sheriff, “Captain” Thomas Walker, a man of military bearing who had commanded the Harrisburg Volunteers on their march to defend Baltimore from British invaders in 1814, arrested at least sixteen African American men who were involved in the melee. In the trial that followed, twelve of the men were convicted of riot.1

This event was is noteworthy because it is the first public show of resistance by Harrisburg’s black community against the hated institution of slavery. Never before had the residents of this town witnessed an act of aggression by a large number of its black residents, much less an act so bold and rebellious. The protesters came armed, and they directed their hostility toward the slave owner and his henchmen, and not at the local deputies.

Furthermore, their chief aim seemed to be to free the captured slave, rather than to do injury to the slave catchers. This was not a brawl in which violence, fueled by rage, spiraled out of control. This was a focused rescue attempt that failed, largely due to inexperience and possibly lack of leadership. It ended when one of the Marylanders introduced the threat of deadly violence, which apparently elevated the violence to a level of mayhem for which the protesters were unprepared. Despite this, some in the crowd persisted in following the slave catching party to their hotel, waited in the streets and continued to intimidate the visitors until they left, or at least until Captain Walker’s men swept through the streets with arrest warrants in a bid to restore order.

The swift law-and-order response from Harrisburg authorities underscored the significance of the event to local whites, and it was simply a reaffirmation of long-held prejudices: black people were volatile, and black people in crowds were a public menace. This belief had manifested itself a mere four years earlier when borough council had passed an ordinance to require the registration of all free African Americans in a bid to control their movement, habitation and associations. The registration ordinance required all Harrisburg blacks to have a certificate from Chief Burgess Obed Fahnestock or his successor, effectively reducing free people to carrying “freedom papers” again. Anyone who wished to leave town, receive visitors, move to a new address or return to town had to notify the burgess of such changes. Unregistered “strange persons of color” caught in town by local constables were dealt with according to law as “disorderly persons.”

Such was white Harrisburg’s low level of trust for its black residents, and the attempted rescue of an unnamed slave in April 1825 only underscored this mistrust. Therefore, there was little help available for the twenty men who were ultimately indicted of riot. One local African American man, Ezekiel Carter, stepped forward to post bail for one of the rioters, William Grove. Carter was one of only six African American property holders in the borough in 1825, and was the only one with enough financial resources to be able to help. A few local white residents presented a petition to the Borough Council, requesting a pardon for the men then being held, but it was summarily dismissed by the council.

When the “rioters” were sentenced later that year, they received the harsh punishment of being committed to work on a treadmill, not unlike the ancient device in Philadelphia’s overcrowded Walnut Street Prison. This same attitude was also seen in Judge Samuel Hepburn’s 1847 sentencing of the Carlisle’s African American “rioters” to solitary confinement at Eastern State Penitentiary. Solitary confinement was generally reserved for the most dangerous criminals,2 and Judge Hepburn’s sentence clearly reflected the general public’s sentiment regarding these disturbances.

For Harrisburg blacks, though, the event was noteworthy for other reasons. Despite the wounding of one of their number, the arrest of twenty men in the community and the sentencing of those convicted to imprisonment in Philadelphia, there were important discoveries in the demonstration and rescue attempt. For one thing, the local deputies assigned to escort the Marylanders from the courthouse were not the ones who used violence to control the crowd; the gunshot that ended the fight was fired by one of the slave catchers.

Another important observation was in the assigning of those same deputies to try to head off trouble. Nothing in the law at that time stipulated that local authorities had to provide escorts to slave catchers, so this must have been done at the suggestion of the judge or perhaps the sheriff. The next step seemed logical: if a large angry crowd could prompt that type of response, perhaps it could also influence the final decision of the judge. This observation fit very neatly with the other, much more obvious observation, that the white residents of Harrisburg were clearly rattled by the demonstration of anger and rebellion against the fugitive slave laws by their black neighbors.

From this final revelation flowed not only a sense of pride at what was almost accomplished, but also a sense of power with the realization of what could be accomplished with these tactics. All these observations would be put to use by this oppressed segment of Harrisburg’s population when developing tactics of resistance in the coming decades, as a means of evening the odds in the struggle against corrupt local lawmen and unjust federal laws.

As a public demonstration, the 1825 rescue attempt was a groundbreaking event in Harrisburg history. As part of the total strategy of resistance against slavery by Harrisburg’s African American community, however, it was simply the next logical step in a long struggle that had begun nearly one hundred years before. Fugitive slaves had been coming to this place on the Susquehanna River since at least 1749, when the escaped slave Scipio showed up with a forged pass and a story about being free, and freedom seekers had been receiving assistance of one type or another for almost as long.

How, for instance, had Scipio obtained a pass, developed a story, secured food, shelter and clothing to travel from Prince George’s County, Maryland, to Harris’ Ferry, a distance of more than one hundred and twenty-five miles, much of which involved traversing inhospitable countryside, without assistance? Settlers and traders who regularly moved through this area relied heavily upon the hospitality to be found at the forts, ferries, and inns that were situated along the rough roads that snaked out from the larger towns into the interior of Penn’s Woods. Beyond those outposts of European civilization, assistance could be found with established rural farmers, and finally, at friendly Native American villages. This hospitality was tendered freely or for a price to people whose intentions were obvious and expected.

Travelers of African heritage, though, were naturally suspect by white farmers, innkeepers, and ferrymen, as free black persons were a rarity in this place at that time. Perhaps Scipio was a highly skilled woodsman, totally self-sufficient and able to survive off the land, who avoided contact with the white townspeople in Baltimore, York, and all the small villages in between, in his journey from Maryland to John Harris’ trading post. Perhaps he was a master storyteller who convinced everyone that he was indeed a free man on his way to Philadelphia, and he bartered his time doing chores, or maybe he traded his musical talents for the necessary provisions to make his way to his next stop along the way. Although those theories may be true, it is more likely that he secured the help he needed from sympathetic slaves he met along the way; those who took an active part in his escape by giving him food, directions and warnings, and those who played a passive, yet equally effective role, by remaining quiet when they found him sleeping in the barn, or who quieted the farm dogs when they spied him creeping across the property at dusk.

These were the earliest tactics used by enslaved African Americans, from the beginning of slavery in America, as a silent but powerful protest against their hated bondage. Over the decades, as more and more African Americans made the transition from total slavery to term slavery, and finally to freedom, they preserved these tactics. In small villages along the Pennsylvania and Maryland border, and stretching north through the center of the Keystone State, along the rivers and streams, and in the mining, iron and logging regions of the mountain ridges, wherever small settlements of free African Americans sprang up, the descendants of the enslaved kept their eyes open for the struggling, self-emancipated sojourner, to lend whatever assistance they could. It was a legacy that, in almost every area of the state, predated the involvement of sympathetic whites, yet it was a service that remained for many decades in the shadows, completely undocumented and undiscovered, for the penalties for discovery were fierce.

It will never be known, for instance, if John Harris’ freed slave Hercules lent a hand or even whispered encouraging advice to the slave William Keith, with whom he was probably acquainted, to help the man on his escape from the ferry in 1769. If not Hercules, perhaps a member of his family or the slave of a nearby neighbor provided aid. Or perhaps William Keith planned and carried out his escape entirely on his own, avoiding any contact with the free blacks who were beginning to appear in larger numbers in Harris’ Ferry and its environs.

Future freedom seekers moving through this area, however, would find plenty of aid and welcoming smiles among these residents, and in particular, from the neighborhood that sprang up near the land on which the area’s first documented free black man established his homestead. When John Harris senior made out his will, he was careful to provide for the slave who had been with him the longest, and who, according to legend, had once saved his life. Harris provided for the manumission of Hercules, upon his death, and stipulated that the freed slave should be allowed to live on a portion of the land below his old “dwelling plantation.” This land, which was actually willed to Harris’ son William, is land that eventually included the southern limits of the borough of Harrisburg, and the low, flood-prone land just outside the borough on which many of the town’s African American residents would eventually settle once they were freed from living in the houses of white masters and employers.3

Hercules was not the only free African American living in the area that would become Dauphin County, in the middle decades of the eighteenth century. As early as 1758, two unnamed African American males were recorded in the tax lists for “Ye West Side of Derry,” as landowners. This area, which was then part of the much larger Derry Township, Lancaster County, would later become Derry and Londonderry Townships in Dauphin County. In the tax lists, “Widow Sample,” an innkeeper, “deeded 100 acres to 2 Neagors, 1 aged 60 the other 12 years.”

Anna Sample was the widow of James Sample (also spelled Semple), a Scots-Irish Covenanter from Donegal, Ireland, who died in September 1757. The Samples had a farm and apparently, an inn not far from Conewago Creek in Londonderry Township. After her husband’s death, James Sample’s widow earned some of her living from renters on what was now her land. In 1758, she deeded a portion of that land to the two African Americans listed above, making them the first African American landowners in Dauphin County.

Unfortunately, the reason for the land transfer and their names were not recorded with the tax list entry.4 Throughout the remainder of the century, an increasing number of African Americans in this area would gain their freedom, but almost none would enter the ranks of property owners. That distinction would not occur for Dauphin County blacks until the early decades of the nineteenth century, and even then for only a rare few.

Harrisburg formally made its appearance as a town in 1785, the year in which Dauphin County was officially created out of Lancaster County. The year before that, John Harris had presented the Pennsylvania General Assembly with a plan to lay out a town of 200 lots, with four acres set aside for use by the state government. The town was to be located immediately upriver from his own house, and he had his son-in-law and future United States Senator, William Maclay, draw up a plat designating the generous quarter-acre lots. The state assembly could not pass up such an offer, and Harrisburg—Maclay named the town in honor of his father-in-law—was designated the county seat of the newly formed Dauphin County.

The new town was a little more than five blocks wide and three blocks deep, and when it was initially laid out, contained only a single stone house, but Maclay found eager buyers for the lots and within a decade a traveler passing through wrote of finding “300 houses neatly built in bricks or ‘logs and mortar,’ 2 stories high, English windows; the streets are wide, not yet paved.”5

It began at the edge of John Harris’ dwelling land at Mulberry Street, which originally began at the riverfront, and from there ran upriver along Front Street to a point just beyond Barberry Alley to what is today named South Street. Over time, Barberry Alley became Barbara Alley, then Barbara Street. From South Street, the town boundary ran northeasterly to what Maclay designated on his plot as “public ground, 4 acres 13 perches,” a plot on which the first state capitol building in this town was eventually built. The line terminated at a street named High Street, and then turned southeast and, passing over Walnut Street, became Fourth Street. The boundary followed Fourth Street to Cherry Alley, which is almost nonexistent today, cut diagonally to where Dewberry Alley intersected Mulberry Street, and then followed Mulberry Street westward to the riverfront and its starting point.

All the major byways that William Maclay laid out are still with us: Front, Second, Third, and Fourth streets running north to south, and Mulberry, Chestnut, Market, Walnut, Locust, and Pine streets running east to west. In between were the alleys: Dewberry, Raspberry (later renamed Court Street), Barberry, Cranberry, Blackberry, Cherry, and River. Market Street was to be the grand avenue, marked by Maclay as being “80 feet wide” as opposed to the standard 52 feet, 6 inches of the other main thoroughfares.

Where Market Street intersected Second Street, Maclay had drawn in ample setbacks to allow for a “Market Square,” which has remained a prominent feature of Harrisburg to this present day. Not long after drawing up the plan, the city’s founders extended the southern boundary to Mary’s Alley, and by 1792 added additional land south of that lane. Though some development occurred outside of these early boundaries, the town of Harrisburg did not add much to its official limits until 1838, when it incorporated a large area then called Maclaysburg, which consisted of a few square blocks that developed just north of town. The 1838 acquisition also took in the area that was developing east of the capitol grounds toward the canal—an area that had already become a home to many African American residents of Harrisburg. From that acquisition, it would be 1860 until another sizable portion was added.6

Even in its earliest incarnation, John Harris’ town contained a few free African American residents. In 1786, just a year after its creation, two men identified as “black Naygers” appeared on a list of “freemen” in “Lewisburg,” (Louisbourgh—the first name given to Harrisburg as the new county seat) Dauphin County. These men were identified as “James at Hershaws,” and Francis Lauret. Although the identity of the first named person is lost to history, we do recognize the second taxpayer as an early ancestor of the Lorretts, a long-residing Harrisburg area African American family, including George and Lucy Lorrett, whose lineage has been touched upon earlier.

James (whose last name is unknown) and Francis Lauret were taxpayers in Harrisburg, but were apparently not property holders. The term used to categorize them, “freemen,” refers to unmarried men, generally above age twenty-one. Married men, as heads of households, would be classified either as “inmates,” if they rented their land or dwelling, or “residents,” if they owned land. Slaves were not liable for taxes, and therefore did not fall into this classification system. Francis Lauret and James, therefore, appear to be Harrisburg’s only African American taxpayers in that first assessment, a distinction underscored by the use of a special sub-category of “black Naygars” under the “Freemen” column.7

These two individuals do not show up in future city tax records, although the Lorrett family name does appear again in the 1820 official census returns for Swatara Township. Whether these first two free African American men moved, died, or were overlooked by official record keepers during the next few years is not known. Four years later, in the census of 1790, neither James nor Francis Lauret appear in census returns for Harrisburg. Tax records for 1798, in Harrisburg Borough, record one African American living a solitary life in a small house belonging to the Samuel Boyd estate. The occupant of this one-story log house is identified as “Negro Jack,” but whether he is a free man, a servant, or a slave is not evident from the record.

This lack of persistence among the earliest free African Americans in Harrisburg may indicate a perilous existence, marked by a constant shifting in and out of dependent relationships with white employers. A person considered free one year might have been forced back into indentured servitude by debts or circumstances the next year. Another possibility for the appearance and disappearance of individuals may lie in the nebulous nature of African American identity during this time. For the most part, African Americans in the rural counties of Pennsylvania were still being viewed by their white neighbors as servants and laborers who were all bound to some degree to a white landowner.

They were less likely to be known by their complete name, including a surname, than by a familiar and dependent appellation such as “Elder’s black Girl,” or the aforementioned “James at Hershaws.” Although most African Americans in central Pennsylvania, even those still enslaved, were using surnames, often those surnames were ignored by, or unknown to, white authorities, and therefore were not always included in official documents. Adding to this confusion over identity was widespread illiteracy and lack of standardization in spelling, which led to wide variations in the spelling of even regionally common surnames.8

It was not until the year 1800 that a significant number of free African Americans were recorded living within the boundaries of the Borough of Harrisburg. The legacy of slavery was still very evident among the African American residents of this community, however. Out of a total black population of sixty persons, sixteen were still enslaved, according to the census. The rest, forty-four persons, were living as servants or employees in white households. Some of these were the children of slaves, held to bondage as term-slaves. Unfortunately, their names, ages, and sex were not recorded because none were considered heads of households. They were enumerated only as slashes in the catchall column “All other free persons except Indians not taxed.” This designation, although it does not state so in the column heading, was for non-whites only.

These forty-four free African Americans were spread out among twenty-five white households, including some of the town’s wealthiest and most influential citizens, such as innkeeper Andrew Berryhill, Jr., commissioner and burgess Michael Capp, Congressman John Hanna, merchant Henry Orth, newspaper publisher John Wyeth, grandson of the town’s founder and future congressman Robert Harris, and prominent lawyer Thomas Elder. No African Americans lived independently, in their own homes, in Harrisburg during this early phase of the town’s development, despite the fact that it had been thirty years since the state moved to abolish slavery.

By 1810, however, a move toward independence becomes noticeable. Although the overall number of African American residents remained nearly the same, at fifty-nine, only two were listed as slaves by the census takers. Eighteen free African Americans still lived as employees or servants in white households, but thirty-nine now lived independently in their own homes. Surnames of the identified distinct African American families from this census include Nathan, Bundler (Butler), Dickerson, Carter, Carr, Betz (Battis) and Fayette (Fiats). These families formed the nucleus around which Harrisburg’s free African American community would develop.9

Once these few African American families obtained a housing foothold, Harrisburg became a destination for blacks from the surrounding rural townships. Free black families in the borough took in boarders and a few enterprising individuals started businesses that employed African Americans at trades such as chimney sweeping and barbering. At least one or two individuals secured property on which they built boarding houses.

In 1817, the small African American community took a major step with the establishment of several vital social institutions. An "African Church" was chartered with the financial and organizational aid of local whites, after a black Baltimore clergyman helped begin a local African Methodist Episcopal society in town. Though much of the money for the new church came from Harrisburg’s white community, the secretary of the fund drive was a local black man, Thomas Dorsey. Later that year, under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Society, Dorsey founded a school for local African American children, both slave and free. Dorsey established his school in the house of a Mr. Stehley, a hatter, which was located in the alley behind Stehley’s hat shop.10

In addition to Dorsey’s school for African American children, a group of Harrisburg’s Presbyterian women had organized a “Sabbath School” for the “encouragement and promotion of Learning, Morality and Religion.” One of the organizers, and the society secretary, was Rachel Graydon, daughter of William Graydon. Rachel would soon find her family involved much more closely with Harrisburg’s African American community and at the center of several key events in the city’s anti-slavery history. In 1817, however, she was an organizer and teacher in the Sunday school that offered classes to both white and black students, regardless of age, in the old Harrisburg Academy building on Market Street.

The Sabbath School’s enrollment, in addition to whites, included thirty-seven African American students the first year, and twenty-nine students the second year. In addition to religious and moral curriculums, the students were tutored in basic reading and spelling, as evidenced by the eighteen spelling books and forty-two reading primers in the school library. Among the African American students in the first classes were members of the Butler, Fayette, Carr, Carter, and Dickerson families, representing five of the seven free African American families first documented in the borough.11

Right from the start, self-improvement became a tool by which Harrisburg’s free black community sought to establish permanence. By the end of the second decade of the nineteenth century, African Americans in the borough had started a school, a church, had access to free adult education at the Presbyterian Sabbath School, and had begun acquiring property. These became the first of many social institutions marking the rise of a vibrant free black community. The growing town now offered jobs, housing, education, religion, and other social support structures to existing and newly arriving African Americans. Word of the hospitable conditions taking hold in Harrisburg spread rapidly through the region, and new arrivals were soon attracted to the borough, coming not only from the surrounding Pennsylvania townships and counties, but also from the neighboring states of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The conditions were right for Harrisburg’s African American community to blossom from a few dozen families who were surviving on the ragged edge of freedom, into a fully developed community that was firmly planted in freedoms’ soil.

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1. Michael Barton, An Illustrated History of Greater Harrisburg: Life by the Moving Road (Sun Valley, CA: American Historical Press, 1998), 42; Charles L. Blockson, Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania (Jacksonville, NC: Flame International, 1981), 74.

2. Cyndi Banks, Punishment in America: A Reference Handbook (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2005), 37-38; Mary D. Houts, “Black Harrisburg’s Resistance to Slavery,” Pennsylvania Heritage 4, no. 1 (December 1977): 11.

3. Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd ser., vol. 8, Commissions (Harrisburg, 1898), 133-134.

4. Egle, Notes and Queries, First and Second Series, vol. 1, 66:444; Will of James Sample, 20 August 1747, Derry Township, Lancaster County, PA; Tombstone inscription, James Semple, 1713-1757, Donegal Presbyterian Church, Mount Joy, PA.

5. Journal of Theophile Cazenove, in Steinmetz and Hoffsommer, This Was Harrisburg, 25.

6. Steinmetz and Hoffsommer, This Was Harrisburg, 20, 62.

7. “List of Taxable Inhabitants of Dauphin County for the Year 1786,” Septennial Census Returns, 1779-1863, Microfilm roll no. 2, “Dauphin County, 1786-Franklin County, 1821,” reel # 243, Records of the General Assembly, Pennsylvania State Archives; George H. Morgan, Centennial: The Settlement, Formation and Progress of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, From 1785-1876 (Harrisburg: Telegraph Steam Book and Job Printing House, 1877), 123; James M. Beidler, “Tax Records and Their Cousins, the PA Septennial Census,” Penn in Hand, 21, no. 2 (June 2000), Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, (accessed 19 January 2009).
Lewisburg, in the 1786 tax list, was not the Union County town upriver from present day Harrisburg, but rather was a misspelling of “Louisbourgh,” the name first given to Harrisburg as the county seat in honor of France’s King Louis XVI. The entire county, in fact, was named to honor the role of the French monarchy in supplying aid to the colonists in their struggle against Great Britain during the revolution. The name “Dauphin” was given to this former section of Lancaster County as a tribute to the Dauphin of France, Louis-Joseph Xavier Francois, five year-old son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. As the eldest son and Dauphin, Louis-Joseph was the heir to the French throne, but he died of tuberculosis at age seven, a few years before the French Revolution.

8. The dependent nature and lack of identity plaguing free African Americans during this period is seen in documents from the period. Archibald McAllister, of Fort Hunter, just north of Harrisburg, employed numerous free African Americans on his plantation. His account books record money paid to or for these employees, while referring only to first names or familiar names. On 22 April 1792, McAllister recorded paying £30 to Doctor Wallace for treatment given to “Black Nance.” On 25 November 1797, he recorded a debit to “Black Tim” for “3 months work at 11 Doll’s per month.” Another employee, “Black Bill,” was to be paid for “6 months work at 4 Doll’s per month,” in a 23 May 1800 entry. (“Account Book, 1777-1789, of Capt. Archibald McAllister.”) Negro Jack is recorded in tax records for Harrisburg Borough, in “1798 Direct Tax Lists, Dauphin County,” Microfilm 372, roll 11, Pennsylvania State Archives.

9. Gerald G. Eggert, “‘Two Steps Forward, a Step and a Half Back’: Harrisburg’s African American Community in the Nineteenth Century,” Pennsylvania History 58, no. 1 (January 1991): 3-4; Bureau of the Census, 1800, 1810 Censuses, Borough of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

10. Eggert, “Two Steps Forward,” 4. The original advertisement for Thomas Dorsey’s “Coloured Children’s School,” is reproduced in Houts, “Black Harrisburg’s Resistance to Slavery,” 11.

11. George B. Stewart, ed., Centennial Memorial, 1794-1894, English Presbyterian Congregation, Harrisburg, PA (Harrisburg: Harrisburg Publishing Co., 1894), 222-227; Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for the Year Ending June 1st, 1877 (Harrisburg: Lane S. Hart, State Printer, 1878), 717.


Caution: Copyrighted material. Published September 2010.

© 2010 George F. Nagle



This is the first in a series of books from the Afrolumens Project. Drawing on a large number of sources, and making good use of the treasure trove of information on the pages of the Afrolumens Project, this is the first truly comprehensive history of Harrisburg's African American community.

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