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City of Philadelphia Archives, Dept of Records

The City of Philadelphia Archives within the Department of Records is the repository for official city government records. Holdings date from the 1701 City Charter chronicling actions and decisions of city government and the public in confronting slavery and status of blacks in Philadelphia important for telling the Underground Railroad story. In fact, the Archives are unmatched in the comprehensiveness of their eighteenth and early nineteenth century records (Gary Nash support letter, 7/2/08). City Council Minutes from 1704 to 1865 chronicle Philadelphia as the Nation's capital and the birthplace of Abolition and an Underground Railroad center. Among materials are citizen, government, and police response to the 1838 burning of Pennsylvania Hall a center for discussing the evils of slavery. Working documents include property deeds, birth and death records valuable for pinpointing abolitionist owned property and URR sites. Prison and Court records index prisoners including abolitionists awaiting trial for treason for participation in the 1851 Christiana Riot, fugitive slaves and Civil War deserters. Public Health Department records from 1729 include the Philadelphia Almshouse, Marine Hospital Accounts of Lazaretto Hospital Philadelphia's quarantine hospital, and a ledger of two illegal U.S. slave ships, schooners Phebe and Prudent captured by the USS Ganges.

 

 

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 3101 Market St, Philadelphia, 19104

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Joan Decker

Location Type: Facility