December 15th, 2012, marked the second anniversary of the grand opening of the President’s House and Slavery Memorial at Independence National Historic Park (INHP) in Philadelphia. Two Presidents, George Washington (1790 – 1797) and John Adams (1797 – 1800), occupied the house which stood at 6th and High Streets (now Market), when Philadelphia served as a temporary capital.
George and Martha enslaved more than 300 Africans at Mt. Vernon, their estate in Virginia. The Slavery Memorial remembers the nine enslaved Africans that Washington brought with him to Philadelphia during his term in office. This was ten years after Pennsylvania’s Act of Gradual Abolition.
The names of the enslaved are engraved in a monument erected at the foot of the Liberty Bell Center, the approximate site of the President’s House slave quarters unearthed during excavations in 2000.
They’re names were:
On December 15, 2010 the ribbon was cut to open The President’s House : Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation, making it the first slavery memorial of its kind on federal property. Members of ATAC (Avenging the Ancestors Coalition) commemorated the second anniversary with libations and a wreath laying ceremony. Jeffrey Collins was in attendance as a representative of Independence National Historical Park. ATAC was instrumental in arousing public awareness and support for the project, and seeing the memorial through to its completion. Currently, ATAC is continuing the work of the late Dr. Edward Robinson in pressing for infusion of African and African-American history into the curricula for public schools in Philadelphia.