Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Sep 5 2017

Philadelphia's Underground Railroad Sites Featured In New Brochure

From Mother Bethel A.M.E. To The Johnson House, New Guide Includes Vital Sites

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® has published a guide for visitors and residents interested in exploring the Philadelphia region’s connections to the Underground Railroad. The six-panel brochure details historical attractions (the Liberty Bell Center, Mother Bethel A.M.E., Belmont Mansion, Johnson House, Fair Hill burial ground), historical markers (London Coffee House, Free African Society and homes of Cyrus Bustill, Frances E.W. Harper, Robert Purvis, William Still, William Whipper) and city and regional libraries, archives and tours. Visitor demand for this information inspired the piece’s creation.

“The Underground Railroad is an undeniably important part of American history,” said Jenea Robinson, senior media relations manager, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “Philadelphia played a very interesting role in this movement. The city took part in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but also had a significant population of freed African-Americans and others who tried to make things right. We are hoping this brochure will help guide visitors to places that move them in meaningful ways.”

Featured Sites:
The brochure is available at the Independence Visitor Center, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Johnson House in historic Germantown and more. It is also available online at:

Here’s a look at some of the sites—all open to the public—featured in the brochure:

1. Liberty Bell Center, home to the famously cracked Bell, a symbol adopted by abolitionist societies in the 1830s and later by freedom seekers around the world. 6th & Market Streets,
2. President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation, memorial site of the home where President George Washington lived and enslaved nine Africans, including Oney Judge, who escaped bondage. 6th & Market Streets,
3. Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, the active flagship of the nation’s first black denomination, where fugitives sought refuge, and Harriet Tubman, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass and William Still spoke from the pulpit. 6th & Lombard Streets,
4. Historic St. George’s Methodist Church, house of worship where Reverends Richard Allen and Absalom Jones became the first licensed African-American Methodist ministers and led a walkout over a discriminatory seating policy. 235 N. 4th Street,
5. Belmont Mansion, 1742 home of Judge Richard Peters, who purchased and indentured slaves (and allowed some, such as Cornelia Wells, to buy their freedom), hid fugitives escaping slavery via the nearby railway line in the attic; onsite Underground Railroad Museum tells of Cornelia Wells, a freed African-American. 2000 Belmont Mansion Drive, Fairmount Park,
6. Historic Fair Hill, circa 1703 Quaker burial ground, the final resting place of Lucretia Mott, Robert Purvis and other abolitionists; now also an environmental education center surrounded by murals portraying 300 years of social justice in Philadelphia. 2901 Germantown Avenue,
7. Johnson House, the well-preserved home of Quakers Samuel and Jennet Johnson, who took in and cared for escaped slaves in the 1800s. 6306 Germantown Avenue, Germantown,
8. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, repository of hundreds of printed items, manuscripts and graphic items relating to the abolitionist movement, including a collection of manumission papers. 1301 Locust Street,
9. Library Company of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin-founded organization with a 13,000-piece Afro-American Collection that includes documents and books about slavery and abolitionism. 1314 Locust Street,
10. Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University, library with narratives by Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, first editions by Phyllis Wheatley, W.E.B. DuBois and more. Sullivan Hall, 1300 W. Berks Street, library/
11. Chester County Historical Society, home to artifacts and manuscripts that detail the bucolic county’s role in abolitionist history and the Underground Railroad. 225 N. High Street,
West Chester,
12. Kennett Underground Railroad Center, Chester County base for tours of Underground Railroad sites that depart from Brandywine Valley Tourism Information Center.
300 Greenwood Road, Kennett Square,
13. National Archives at Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia site for researching ancestry of people who lived in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
14700 Townsend Road,

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

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Related Releases

Jan 19 2018

31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions In 2017

Fact Sheet

Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2017. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk*.

Historical Sites & Attractions:
1. African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP)* – Founded in 1976, AAMP is the first institution in a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The core exhibit Audacious Freedom takes a fresh, bold look at African-Americans’ role in the founding of the nation; other exhibits and programs explore the history, present and future of the African diaspora in the U.S. 701 Arch Street, (215)

Sep 12 2017

Philadelphia's Literary Legacy Makes For A Novel Visit

Visitors Can Get Their Read On At Authors’ Homes & Independent Book Stores

Literary roots run deep in Philadelphia, a city that has inspired countless authors and continues to nurture their legacies. Throughout the region, lovers of literature can connect with such classic authors as Poe (Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site), Whitman (The Walt Whitman House) and Buck (Pearl S. Buck House Museum) in places where they lived, worked and created some of their most celebrated works. And with so many libraries, book collections and indie bookstores, literature lovers can delve deeper into the collected works of these and other favorite authors.

Here’s a look at


In English

Aug 7 2017

Muchos De Los Lugares Principales De Filadelfia Dicen "Hola" A Los Visitantes De Habla Hispana

Las atracciones culturales e históricas de la región ofrecen programación, recorridos y guías en español

Los visitantes de habla hispana en Filadelfia pueden sentirse realmente bienvenidos en muchas de las atracciones de la región, gracias a una variedad de docentes bilingües, guías de audio traducidas y materiales escritos en varios idiomas. Cada año, más de dos millones y medio de vacacionistas nacionales en el área metropolitana de Filadelfia son de origen hispano/latino (fuente: Longwoods International). Por consecuencia, los sitios históricos y culturales de la región atienden a visitantes de habla hispana.


  • Eastern State Penitentiary (Penitenciaria Estatal) – Los visitantes de habla hispana escuchan todos los efectos de sonido o narración escalofriante mientras se
May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife.

Mar 3 2017

The African-American Story From Its Beginnings In Philadelphia's Historic District

True Stories Of Black Lives & Achievements Told Throughout America’s Most Historic Square Mile

Philadelphia’s Historic District, the site of the original city and often called America’s most historic square mile, reveals early chapters in the nation’s history, including the challenges, injustices, accomplishments and contributions of Africans and African-Americans.

This year, the Historic District’s African American Museum in Philadelphia celebrates its 40th anniversary. The groundbreaking institution hosts two temporary exhibitions through April 2, 2017. Shawn Theodore’s Church of Broken Pieces explores the translocation of black America through photography. Dawoud Bey’s Harlem, USA resurrects the photographer’s iconic 1979 portraits of residents of one of the country’s most diverse neighborhoods. The district is also home

Jul 8 2016

16 Things To Know: African-American Philadelphia

From Colonial Through Modern Days In The City Of Brotherly Love & Sisterly Affection

Strength In Numbers:

  1. The 2010 U.S. Census reported 661,839—that’s 43.37%—of Philadelphians are African-American, the city’s second largest ethnic demographic. More recent estimates show this population has increased by approximately 1% in the past six years.
  2. The largest concentration—82%—of African-American Philadelphians live in North Philadelphia west of Germantown Avenue, Point Breeze in South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and in parts of Southwest Philadelphia.
  3. Important African-American business corridors include 52nd Street between Walnut and
    Arch Streets and Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 52nd Streets, both in West Philadelphia; and Stenton Avenue between Broad Street and Walnut Lane and Ogontz

En Español

Aug 1 2017

Many Of Philly's Top Sites Say "Hola" To Spanish-Speaking Visitors

Region’s Cultural & Historical Attractions Offer Programming, Tours & Guides In Spanish

Spanish-speaking visitors to Philadelphia can feel truly welcomed at many of the region’s attractions, thanks to a wealth of bilingual docents, translated audio guides and multilingual written materials. Each year, more than two-and-a-half million domestic leisure visitors to Greater Philadelphia are of Hispanic/Latino origin (source: Longwoods International). Accordingly, the region’s historical and cultural sites cater to Spanish-speaking guests.


  • Eastern State Penitentiary – Spanish-speaking visitors catch every sound effect or eerie-sounding narration while creeping through the fortress-like former American prison. Both the main audio tour and a written translation of the tour—which guests read while listening to the original,
Jun 16 2016

Fact Sheet: 31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2015. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:

  1. The African American Museum in Philadelphia*, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and cultures of those of African
May 23 2016

Fact Sheet: Historic Philadelphia Trail

The birthplace of the nation is rich in history—and plenty of it. Philadelphia's Historic District Trail guides visitors to 24 essential sites in the area, which spans from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets. This is the original city. It boasts serious historical cred, but it’s also home to buzzed-about restaurants and beer gardens, owner-operated boutiques and pushing-the boundaries art galleries.

Here is the 24-stop essential guide, available at

  1. Visitors can head to the Independence Visitor Center to pick up their timed tickets to Independence Hall and get expert Philly tips.