‘Freedmen, Fugitives and Friends’ tour set for Feb. 4
By Steven Hoffman
On Sat., Feb. 4, a free tour, “Freedmen, Fugitives and Friends,” will be held in honor of Black History Month. Guides will lead visitors through Kennett Square to see the houses and hear the stories of Quakers and African Americans who peacefully co-existed with each other before and after the Civil War. The tour will feature details about the places of worship, employment, and social activity for the Quakers and African Americans who lived in Kennett Square at that time. The tour is sponsored by the Kennett Underground Railroad Center.
Kennett Square was a hotbed for abolitionism. As early as the 1780s, slaves were trying to escape to places where they could be free. Pennsylvania was a free state, and with its proximity to Delaware and Maryland, Chester County was a popular destination for freedom-seekers who were headed north. Kennett Square’s location, as well as the presence of a large Quaker population that opposed slavery and organized anti-slavery societies, made it an important stop along the Underground Railroad.
This tour fits with the Kennett Underground Railroad Center's mission to “educate the public about the historic struggle of abolitionists, conductors, stationmasters, and freedom-seekers in southeastern Chester County, PA in the nineteenth century.”
“Freedmen, Fugitives and Friends” will take place between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The 40-minute small group guided tours will start every 10 to 15 minutes at the Willow and East State Street parking lot in downtown Kennett Square. Free parking is available in the lot at the corner of Willow and East State Street. After the stroll through Kennett Square, stop by Sinclair’s Sunrise Cafe at 127 East State Street for light refreshments.
Pre-registration for the tour is requested. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the KURC at 484-544-5070 and provide your name and the number in the group attending the tour.
If the weather on the day of the event requires the cancellation of the tour, a notice will be posted on the Kennett Underground Railroad Center's Facebook page and the KURC website at www.kennettundergroundrr.org.